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DEVOTED  TO  THE  PRESENTATION  OF  HOLY  ORTHODOXY 

IN  THE  ENGLISH  LANGUAGE 


A  BIMONTHLY  PERIODICAL 


LIVES  OF  SAINTS 

THE  ORTHODOX  SPIRITUAL  LIFE 
MIRACULOUS  ICONS  OF  THE  MOTHER  OF  GOD 
ICONS  OF  THE  GREAT  FEASTS 
A  Pilirimaff  to  THE  ORTHODOX  HOLY  PLACES  OF  AMERICA 
GREAT  ORTHOIX)X  HIERARCHS  OF  THE  19th  trmh  CENTURIES 
MARTYROLOGY  OF  THE  COMMUNIST  YOKE 
ORTHODOXY  IN  THE  CONTEMPORARY  WORLD 


NEW  FEATURES  IN  FUTURE  ISSUES; 

THE  MIRACLES  OF  FR.  HERMAN  OF  ALASKA 
THE  NEW  MARUt'RS  OF  THE  TURKISH  YOKE 
THE  STARTSI  OF  OPTINA  MONASTERY 


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ORTHODOX  CHRISTIAN  BOOKS  &  ICONS 
6254  GEARY  BLVD. 

SAN  FRANCISCO,  CALIFORNIA  04121 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

A  BIMONTHLY  PERIODICAL 


1966  \'0l.  2,  No.  2(8:)  ■ 

April  -  May -June 


Published  with  the  blessing  of  His  Eminence  J^hn 
CM^xim^vkch'),  Archbishop  of  Western  America  and  San 
Francisco*  Russian  Orthodox  Church  Outside  of  Russia* 


Editors:  Etigene  Rofe,  M.A.,  &  Gieb  Fodmashensky^  B.Th* 


Printed  by  the  Father  Herman  Brotherhood. 

Text  set  in  lO^pomc  Garamciiii  i>pe,  titles  ia  18-poiOi  Goudy  Bold. 


CONTENTS 


43  The  Life  of  St*  Ncctarios  Kephalas 
by  Archimandriie  jcachim  Spetskrh 
56  Some  Miracles  of  Saint  Ncctarios  by  D.  Fanagcpmks 
59  On  the  Writings  of  Saint  Ncctarios  by  John  Miivf$s 
63  The  Catacomb  Church  EphtU  of  Metropolitan  Fbiiaret 
70  The  Miraculous  Icons  of  the  Mother  of  God: 

The  Korsun  Mother  of  God 
72  Orchodoxy  in  the  Contemporary  World 

74  New  Books 

75  A  Pilgrimage  to  the  Orthodox  Holy  Places  of 

America:  The  First  Pilgrimage 

COVER^  Holy  Trinity  Monastery,  Jordanvi lie*  N.  Y.  **  The  Most  Rev,  Arch¬ 
bishop  Averky  officiating  in  main  churchy  courtesy  of  S.  TarnapoJski. 
Illustrations  on  pp  77  80  courtesy  of  the  Monastery* 


Copyright  1966  by  Orthodox  Chriitian  Book*  &  Iconi. 

Yearly  jubicriptioD  $3-00,  tvro  yexri  SS.OO;  indivlduil  copic*  60  ceuH  (50  cents  to  subscfibefs). 


All  inqoiriei  should  be  dircCtfid  to: 
OfLtiVJCOX  BOOCs  *:  ICONS  ^/EAR  lf 


SAN!  FHA-^CISCO,  CALIf-OhMU  'iHlll 


IN  MEMORIAM 

ARCHBISHOP  JOHN 
MAXIMOVITCH 

1896  -  1966 

As  the  final  page  of  this  issue  of  The  Orthodox  Word  was  being 
prepared  for  printing*  in  late  afternoon  of  July  2,  word  was  received  of 
the  sudden  death  in  Seattle  of  our  beloved  Archpastor,  the  spiritual 
guide  and  inspircr  of  our  Fr,  Herman  Brotherhood,  Archbishop  John. 

Mourning  together  with  the  countJess  thousands  of  his  orphaned 
flock  throughont  the  world,  wc  present  this  issue  with  the  Life  of  Saint 
Ncctarios*  a  Saint  whom  His  Eminence  knew  and  venerated,  and  whose 
Life  he  had  encouraged  us  to  print,  as  a  tribute  to  his  memory* 

Archbishop  John  himseif  being  anquescionably  one  of  the  great 
Orthodox  hierarchs  of  this  century,  and  more  than  that  --  a  righteous 
and  truly  holy  man,  —  his  ow^n  Life  w'ill  be  presented  in  a  future  issue 
of  The  Orthodox  Word. 

May  the  Lord  God  grant  to  his  faithful  servant 

Eternal  Rest 
and 

MEMORY  ETERNAL. 


IT.  SECTARIOS  KE  PH  ALAS 
1S46  1920 

CommtMoraud  Sot^mhir  9 


Th  first  comphu  fratntiimn  in  Etiglhh  of  the  Life  of 
tht  moit  fiC€iit'y  Orthodox  Saint,  transiated 

by  tl^  r.nott  mJ  author  of  Anchored  m  God. 

Ail  tli>tjrr.itions  wurteo  of  Holy  Transfiguratton  Motjjstrry, 

Boston^  Alijj/. 


luinpii 


THE  LIFE  OF 

ST.  NECTARIOS  KEPHALAS 

By  ARCHLMANDRITE  JOACHIM  SPETSIERIS^ 

Translated  and  Annotated  by 

Constantine  Cavamoi 
Wheaton  Collegia  Sorton^  ^lass. 


lanpidcsj.  %  irtuc  docs  not  die*  cccause,  as  cnc  Apostle  of 
the  Gentiles  Paul  says,  Christ  its  judge  //  the  same  yesterday  and  today  and 
foret^r  (Hcb.  13:  8),  A  truthful  witness  of  these  statemcDts  is  the  ever 
memorable  Metropolitan  of  Pencapolis  Ncctanos,  who  rose  like  another 
bright  star  in  these  gloomy  days,  when  the  dense  darkness  of  material¬ 
ism  seeks  to  dcscrov  the  w’orld. 

The  indefatigable  w'orkcr  of  virtue  Nectaries  is  proved  to  be  cmly 
great,  not  only  through  the  miracles  that  he  coatinucs  to  perform  even 
after  his  death,  but  also  through  his  divine  virtues  and  his  admirable  hfe, 
%vhich  was  nothing  else  chan  a  continual  and  unceasing  working  of  virtue. 

This  blessed  one  was  bom  in  Silyvria,  Eastern  Thrace,  of  devout 
parents,  Demos  and  Vasiliki  Kephalas,  on  October  1,  1S46  »nd  was 
^med  Aoastasios  at  baptism.  From  his  early  youth  ,t  was  evident  what 
kind  of  person  he  was  going  to  become;  sensible,  prudent,  meek,  selt- 
controlled,  obedient  to  his  parents  who,  even  though  unlettered,  were 

Mjd  again  diiring  the  Utter  pcri^  of  hi|  l*fe*  of  the  HoU  Cross,  lo 

ordained  *  deacon  and  rben  a  Sepulchre  in 

he  was  appointed  parish  pri«t  at  the 

Athens.  \t  ibis  ciroe  he  began  to  stndy  at  t  e  ^adnitine  from  the  school  he  attended 
was  placed  under  the  direction  of  (J^Bachelw  of  Theolo^.  Subsequently 

43 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

very  pious  and  brought  him  up  in  the  nurture  and  admonition  of  the  Lord 
(Eph.  6:  4>  Not  only  the  parents  of  little  Anastasios,  but  all  his  rela¬ 
tives  and  neighbors  as  well,  used  to  look  at  him  with  admiration- 

He  disliked  children's  games  and  found  pleasure  in  praying  and 
memorizing  psalms  and  holy  sayings.  And  from  childhood  he  had  one 
fervid  desire:  to  study  and  eventually  become  a  preacher  of  the  Gospel, 
even  though  the  poverty  of  his  parents  did  not  permit  this.  Divine  Pro¬ 
vidence,  however,  had  destined  him  to  become  a  shepherd  of  men  and  a 
teacher,  for  it  foreknew  his  future  virtue*  As  the  Apostle  Paul  says: 
Those  whom  He  jortknew  his  also  predestined  (^Rom,  8:  29^* 

At  the  age  of  fourteen  he  left  his  birthplace  and  went  to  Constan¬ 
tinople,  where  some  relative  of  his  engaged  him  as  a  clerk  at  his  store. 
While  in  the  midst  of  worldly  distractions,  he  did  not  neglect  prayer, 
church  attendance  on  holy  days,^and  the  reading  of  sacred  and  instructive 
books.  Whatever  sayings  and  apothegms  he  considered  beneficial  to  his 
neighbor  he  wrote  on  packages  and  wrappings,  so  that  the  customers  of 
the  store  might  read  them  and  profit  spiritually,  as  he  remarks  in  the 
preface  of  his  book  Treasury  of  Sayings.  He  says:  The  present  book  is  a 
product  of  long  and  intense  work,  and  grew  out  of  the  prematurely  de¬ 
veloped  ardent  desire  to  transmit  useful  knowledge.  For  at  an  early  age 
I  envied  above  all  the  work  of  the  teacher,  and  I  eagerly  turned  to  it* 
This  w'ork,  however,  was  far  above  my  zeal,  because  of  my  inadequate 
preparation  for  it.  But  the  desire  was  strong  and  persistent.  In  order  to 
fulfill  it,  I  had  recourse  to  the  treasures  of  our  ancestors,  these  being 
handy  and  at  my  disposition,  and  I  could  hoard  them.  Thus  the  work 
began,  and  a  meagre  collection  of  sayings,  opinions,  and  apothegms 
was  made.  But  the  means  of  transmittiDg  them  was  also  difficult,  owing 
to  the  lack  of  money.  I  thought  I  could  utilize  as  publication  sheets  the 
cigarette  packages  of  Constantinople's  tobacco-sellers.  The  idea  seemed  to 
me  a  good  one,  and  was  almost  at  once  put  into  practice.  Each  day  I  wTote 
on  many  of  these  'sheets'  various  maxims  from  my  collection,  so  that  the 

which  is  that  on  the  Hermtsess  Fhotini^  having  gone  ioto  four  editions.  The  text  that  fol¬ 
lows  is  a  slightly  abridged  translation  of  his  Biographical  Sketch  &J  St.  NtetarioT^  which  was 
pablisbed  in  Athens  in  1929,  nine  years  after  the  death  of  Kectarios.  I  have  made  certain 
correctioos  here  and  there  on  the  basis  of  Archimandrite  Titos  Matthaiakis"  biography  of 
the  Saiar*  which  is  included  in  the  book  Ojset  Ntetariot  Krphalas  chat  was  edited  by  him 
and  published  in  1955  io  Athens.  Matthaiakis  had  full  access  to  the  Saicit*s  archives,  and 
his  biography  is  the  most  comprehensive  and  best  documented  one.  However,  it  is  rather 
long  and  written  in  a  manner  far  removed  from  the  traditional  style  of  Eastern  Orthodox 
lives  of  saints. 

— - - -OfFOSfTE:  St^  hm  by  Bajil  L$poaras  after  an  icon  hy  Photks  K&ntogl&u^ 

C&urtity  of  Holy  Tranifigitfatim  M&nastery^  Botton^  ALajj. 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

customers  might  out  of  curiosity  read  the  statements  and  be  instructed 
in  what  is  wise  and  good»  Such  was  the  beginning  of  the  present  book 
and  the  longing  out  of  which  it  grew/' 

Who  can  read  this  and  not  admire  the  Saint's  great  love  for  his 
neighbor?  In  the  words  of  the  Apostle  Paul,  he  employs  everything,  he 
uses  every  dcvicej  in  order  to  benefit  his  neighbor  morally. 

Not  much  transpired  since  then,  when  hts  yearning  for  study  be¬ 
gan  to  be  fulfilled.  He  left  the  store  and  found  employment  as  an  over¬ 
seer  of  children  at  the  school  in  the  estate  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  where 
he  performed  with  great  zeal  the  service  that  had  been  committed  to  him. 
In  addition,  he  taughc  the  lower  grades  and  attended  the  higher  ones. 

At  the  age  of  twenty  he  left  Constantinople  and  went  to  Chios, 
where  he  was  appointed  a  primary  school  teacher  at  the  village  of  Ly* 
thi.  He  remained  here  for  seven  years,  instructing  not  only  students,  but 
also  all  the  peasants,  exhorting  them  to  piety  and  virtue,  and  living  an 
exemplary  godly  life. 

Being  an  ardent  lover  of  the  monastic  life,  he  often  visited  the 
Monastery  of  the  Holy  Fathers,  and  conversed  about  the  ascetic  life  wirh 
the  very  devout  restorer  of  the  monastery,  Father  Pachomios.  As  he  as¬ 
pired  to  the  angelic  habir  of  the  monks,  he  entered  Nea  Moni/  the 
"New  Monastery,"  and  was  tonsured  a  monk,^  receiving  the  new  name 
of  Lazarus.  Here  he  was  appointed  secretary,  and  stayed  for  three  years. 
A  year  after  his  tonsure,  the  Metropolitan  of  Chios,  the  ever- memorable 
Gregory,  ordained  him  a  deacon  and  renamed  him  Ncctatios,  While  at 
Nea  Moni,  he  studied  unceasingly  Holy  Scripture  and  the  sacred  writings 
of  the  holy  Fathers.  At  the  same  time  his  heart  was  being  consumed  by 
the  burning  desire  to  study  theology,  in  order  that  he  might  become 
useful  to  his  fellow  Christians  And  the  more  he  studied,  the  more  this 
desire  for  study  Increased  in  intensity,  even  though  the  material  means 
for  such  study  were  always  inadequate. 

But  God,  Who,  as  the  Psalmist  says,  does  the  will  &J  these  who  fear 
Him  (Ps.  144:  19),  enlightened  John  Horemis,  a  wealthy  Chian,  and  he 
sent  Nectarios  to  Athens  to  study  at  his  expense.  His  joy  was  indescrib* 
able  when  he  arrived  at  that  city,  where  the  great  luminaries  of  the 
Church,  Gregory  Naziaozen  and  Basil,  had  studied.  Rejoicing  that  his 
longing  began  to  be  fulfilled,  blessing  the  albholy  name  of  the  heavenly 

1,  Fimou}  for  iti  superb  B>^iaDtiae  mosaics,  which  date  from  tht  mid  die  of  the  eleventh 
century,  when  it  is  believed  to  have  been  built. 

2*  In  1876,  at  the  age  of  thirty, 

46 


ST.  NECTARIOS 

Father,  and  praying  for  his  benefactor,  he  devoted  himself  to  his  studies 
wirh  zeal  and  self-denial,  knowing  no  other  roads  but  that  to  the  school 

and  chat  to  the  church  on  Sundays  and  holy  days. 

After  receiving  hh  high  school  diploma,  at  the  exhortacion  of  his 
patron  John  Horemis,  he  went  co  che  Pairiarch  of  Alexandria  Sophronios. 
The  latter  took  him  under  his  protcccion  and  sent  him  to  Athens  co 
study  theology.^ 

In  1885.  having  finished  his  studies  at  the  university  and  received 
the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Theology,  he  returned  to  Alexandria.  Here 
Sophronios  ordained  him  a  prcsbyicr^  and,  not  long  after  chis,^  Metro¬ 
politan  of  PenrapoJis  and  his  vicar  (epitropos')  in  Cairo.  The  oil  had  now 
been  placed  in  the  lamp.  Everyone  looked  at  him  with  admiration  and 
spoke  of  him  with  great  reverence,  saying:  Here  is  a  worthy  function¬ 
ary  of  the  Most  High-  here  is  a  man  fie  for  the  Patriarchal  throne  of  Al¬ 
exandria.”  As  time  went  by,  the  reputation  of  the  holy  Metropolitan  of 
Pcncapolisgrew'.  This  occasioned  envy  among  chose  about  the  Patriarch, 
and  they  finally  succeeded  in  arousing  the  Patriarch  Sophronios  against 
him,  with  the  result;  that  the  holy  Father  w'as  removed  from  the  Church 
of  Egypt  on  May  3,  1890/  He  left  Egypt  and  went  to  Athens  with  the 
intention  of  going  from  there  to  Mount  Achos,  to  lead  a  monastic  life. 
But  many  persons,  among  them  the  bishop  of  Patras  Daraaskinos, 
urged  him  to  stay  in  Greece,^  where  he  might  greatly  benefit  the  people 
though  his  life  according  to  Christ  and  through  his  preaching. 

When  Nectarios  arrived  at  Athens,  he  had  no  money  at  all,  inas¬ 
much  as  whatever  money  he  earned  in  Egypt  he  used  to  give  away  to 
the  poor  and  spend  for  the  publication  of  writings  that  would  benefit 
Christian  readers.  His  disregard  for  money  was  such  that  many  said: 
"Money  and  the  Metropolitan  of  Pentapolis  arc  two  contrary  things." 

1.  He  entered  the  University  of  Atbeos  id  1882, 

2.  la  1886. 

3.  In  1889. 

4  The  reasons  given  by  the  Paffiarchate  of  Alexandria  to  the  Gr«Ic  govcrntdenc  for  the 
removal  of  Netrarias  fom  rhe  Church  of  Egypt  and  bis  departure  for  Greece  were  rha^  he 
hsd  shown  tendencies  towards  insubordi nation  and  iinmorahty.  See  T.  Martha istk is,  Qstes 
Nictdritff  KMat,  pp.  3f>-33,  where  the  Saint's  correspondence  shows  pl»inlr  rhai  he  was 
a  victim  of  a  malicious  intrigue  and  slander.  Matthaiabis  reraa^rks  (p.  3?)  that  the  reason 
why  the  Patriarch  compelled  Nectarios  to  leave  the  Chutch  of  Egypt  was  that  he  “me^ 
fear  lest  the  clergy  and  laity  might  raise  Nectarios  to  the  Patriarchal  throne  while  he  CSt>- 

phronios)  was  still  living. 

5.  in  liberated  Greece.  Mount .Athos  was  at  that  time  still  under  Turkish  rule.  Arhos 
continued  to  have  a  strong  attraction  for  cbe  Saint  long  after  this.  He  visited  its  monas¬ 
teries  in  1898,  during  the  summer  recess  of  cbe  Rizarios  ScbociJ,  which  he  then  dircctca. 

47 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

Aod  though  he  lacked  even  his  daily  bread,  he  did  not  ask  for  anything 
from  anyone*  nor  did  he  say  that  he  was  in  want*  but  waited  with  con- 
hdcncc  for  Divine  succor- 

inner  as  well  as  outer  promptings  finally  led  Ncctarios  to  stay  in 
the  world  and  preach.  He  accepted  an  appointment  as  preacher  in  Eu- 
boia.^  After  serving  as  a  preacher  there  for  tvfO  and  a  half  years*  he  was 
transferred  to  the  province  of  Phthiotis  and  Pbocis,^  where  he  preached 
the  word  of  God  until  1894.  At  this  time  he  was  invited  by  the  Minis¬ 
try  of  Church  Affairs  to  assume  the  direction  of  the  Ri^arios  Ecclesiasti¬ 
cal  School.^  Here  he  taught  pastoral  theology  and  other  subjects  to  the 
higher  grades. 

Before  his  appointment  as  director,  the  Rizarios  School  was  al¬ 
ways  in  a  state  of  disturbance;  but  as  soon  as  he  took  over  the  direction 
of  the  school  there  w^as  peace,  and  it  began  to  function  normally,  because 
he  treated  the  students  and  the  staff  of  the  school  as  a  loving  father,  and 
hence  everyone  loved  him  and  greatly  respected  him,  obeying  his  coun¬ 
sels  and  admonitions. 

He  often  came  to  the  Exarchate  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  ’where  I 
was  a  priest,  and  many  times  when  he  departed  1  accompanied  him  as 
far  as  the  Rizarios  School,  and  liscened  to  him  as  he  spoke  in  a  hortatory 
manner.  One  day,  as  we  were  walking  to  the  school,  he  said  to  me: 
"When  a  man  comes  to  understand  his  destiny,  and  that  he  is  a  child  of 
the  heavenly  Father,  that  is,  of  the  Supreme  Good,  he  looks  with  con¬ 
tempt  at  the  goods  of  this  world.  It  is  true  that  the  virtuous  man  en¬ 
dures  remptatioos  and  humlHatioDS  in  this  world;  but  he  rejoices  deep 
within  his  heart,  because  he  has  his  conscience  at  peace.  The  world 
hates  and  despises  virtuous  men,  yet  it  envies  them,  for  as  our  ancestors 
used  to  say,  even  the  enemy  admires  virtue.'' 

Everywhere,  one  may  say,  wherever  he  happened  to  be*  the  holy 
Metropolitan  of  Pcatapolis  taught  piety,  faith  in  God,  and  Jove  of  one's 
neighbor,  like  a  true  disciple  of  the  Lord. 

He  departed  from  Egypt,  as  we  have  said,  but  he  left  the  immor¬ 
tal  memory  of  a  saintly  man.  And  when  in  1899  a  new  Patriarch  of 
Alexandria  was  to  be  elected,  Patriarch  Sophronios  having  died,  Ncc¬ 
tarios  was  invited  by  many  Greeks  to  go  to  Egypt  and  dedare  his  can- 

X.  The  appoinrmeur  was  made  in  February,  1891,  by  the  MiBistiy  of  Church  AiS'airs. 

2-  Lq  August,  1893. 

3.  This  school  was  established  at  Atheos  ia  1844  for  the  traioiog  of  priests. 


•*  * 


didacy  to  the  Pairiarchal 
throne  of  Alexandria.  He 
went  there,  bur  left  for  Ath- 
ens  at  once,  because  although 
he  had  many  supporters  cberc, 
he  perceived  that  the  clergy 
of  the  throne  of  Alexandria 
were  acting  in  support  of  Pho- 
tios*  who,  being  a  member  of 
the  Brotherhood  of  the  Holy 
Sepulchre,  was  also  supported 
by  Patriarch  Damianos  of  Jer- 
usaicni.  Seeing  this,  as  he  al¬ 
ways  loved  peace,  the  holy 
Metropolitan  of  Pentapoiis 
returned  immediately  to  his 
position  ai  Athens.  As  he  told 
me,  "Listening  to  the  entreat¬ 
ies  of  our  fellow  countrymen, 

I  went  to  Egypt,  not  to  cause 
uneasiness  and  factions,  but 
to  bring  peace  and  love." 

The  periodical  ^ 

wrote  at  that  timet  The  can¬ 
didacy  of  His  Eitiincncc,  the 
Metropolitan  of  Pentapoiis,  is 
one  of  the  weightiest,  because 
he  is  among  the  most  distm- 
auished,  well  educated,  and  fervent  Hierarchs  the  Eastern  Orthodox 
Church  has  to  show.  He  is  a  very  productive  writer,  an  indefatigable 
worker  of  the  Spirit,  having  as  hts  food  and  pleasure  the  service  of  the 
word  of  God  and  truth.  He  is  free  of  avarice  to  the  extreme,  a  fiery  lover 
of  goodness,  serene  but  strong,  meek  yet  firm,  pure  in  life.  He  is  modest, 
decorous,  dignified  iti  appearance  and  bearing,  above  pettiness  and  in¬ 
trigues.  passion  and  malice.  He  is  one  of  the  most  superior  episcopal 
personalities.  And  the  harmonious  totality  of  his  excellences  places  him 
among  the  most  select  ones.  If  someone  abler  than  he  should  be  pre¬ 
ferred  for  the  Patriarchal  throne  of  Alexandria,  no  one  will  reloice  more 

L  "■Regeneration,"  a  religious  periotikal  fouaded  in  1807. 


St  Neemrioi  Avhen  director  oi  the  Rizarios  School 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

than  he;  if  he  should  be  chosen*  modest  as  he  is,  he  will  have  only  one 
ambition,  how  to  prove  himself  worthy  of  his  mission  in  all  humility" 
September  9,  1899)* 

This  is  what  Anaplasis  wrote.  But  God  had  destined  him  to  stay 
□ear  the  capital  of  Greece  even  after  his  death,  and  through  his  holiness 
to  teach  piety  and  love  of  God  and  neighbor,  and  itnniorta]  virtue  in 
general. 

A  great  number  of  persons  went  to  him  to  receive  his  counsel  and 
to  confess.  And  as  certain  devout  women  often  expressed  to  him  the  de¬ 
sire  to  embrace  the  angelic  life  of  nuns,  he  persistently  entreated  the 
Lord  CO  deem  him  worthy  of  founding  a  convent  near  Athens.  And  God, 
Who,  as  Holy  Scripture  says,  J&es  the  uftli  cj  those  who  fear  listened 

to  his  prayers  and  deigned  chat  he  should  become  the  founder  of  the 
Convent  of  the  Holy  Triniri"  in  Aegina,  which  was  established  as  follows* 

The  Monastery  of  the  Dorm i cion  of  the  Theotokos  in  Aegina  had 
as  its  Abbot  Archimandrite  Theodosios  Papaconstancinou.  Sainr  Ncc- 
tarios,  then  director  of  the  Rizarios  School,  made  known  co  him  his  de¬ 
sire  to  build  a  convent  for  nuns  in  Aegina,  if  God  deigned  it;  and  he 
asked  him  if  there  was  a  suitable  place  there.  The  Archimandrite  replied 
that  near  Palaia  Chora^  there  were  some  ruins  that  according  to  survi¬ 
ving  traditions  and  testimonies  belonged  to  a  convent  for  nuns,  of  which 
there  survived  only  a  little  chapel  dedicated  to  the  Zoodochos  the 

“Life-giving  Source/*  and  two  old  cells.  On  September  10,  1904,  the 
holy  Father  w^enc  to  Aegina  accompanied  by  three  nuns  and  was  received 
at  the  pier  by  Archimandrite  Theodosios.  The  latter  led  hjm  to  the  cs* 
tacc  of  the  monastery  of  which  he  was  the  Abbot,  and  thenexr  day  they 
proceeded  to  the  dissolved  convent,  which  was  inhabited  by  an  old  wo¬ 
man,  who  lived  by  the  alms  of  pious  Christians* 

During  that  whole  night  the  Metropolitan  and  his  company 
prayed  to  the  Lord  to  help  them  rebuild  the  ruined  convent,  if  this  were 
His  wiiL  The  following  day  he  left  for  Athens  (for  being  the  director 
of  the  Rizarios  School  he  could  not  be  absent),  after  having  met  the 
mayor  of  Aegina,  Nicholas  Pepas,  and  made  known  to  him  his  inten¬ 
tion,  that  is,  that  he  wanted  to  rebuild  the  destroyed  convent*  and 
begged  him  to  repair  the  tw'o  surviving  cells  and  cede  the  lot  to  him 
for  the  reconstruction*  The  mayor  promised  to  comply  with  his  wdshes* 

1*  Tbc  former  chief  ioivd  of  *\egic3i,  of  which  ooly  some  churches  sutvitc* 

50 


m 


Aegio?^;  The  Conveot  of  the  Holy  Trinit)',  estshiished 
hy  Se.  Nectarios,  as  ic  appean  lodiy 


In  the  meantime  Archimandrite  Theodosios  undertook  the  maintenance 
of  the  nuns*  whom  the  Saint  left  at  the  old  convent;  and  on  Sundays  as 
well  as  on  other  holy  days  he  sent  a  priest  of  his  monastery  to  officiate 
in  the  church  of  the  convent,  until  the  Metropolitan  settled  there  in 
1908*  That  year  the  Saint  retired  as  director  of  the  Rizarios  School, 
settled  in  Aegina,  and  began  erecting  the  convent  with  zeal  and  self- 
denial. 

Who  can  describe  the  indefatigable  roils  and  struggles  ^jf  tile  1^ ^^1 
Metropolitan  of  Pentapoiis  for  the  reconstruction  of  the  convent?  Ex- 
trcmelv  vigilant  regarding  the  observance  of  the  sacred  forms  in  thedox- 
ology,  chant,  orderliness,  solemnity,  and  in  the  angelic  way  of  life  and 
Christly  conduct,  he  forbade  everything  that  was  out  of  harmony  with 
the  monastic  life,  particularly  ihe  free  entrance  of  men  in  the  convent, 

instituting  a  fully  cocoobitic  system** 

He  himself  served  as  the  priest  of  the  convent,  preached  the  word 
of  God  quite  regularly,  counseled  the  nuQs  both  as  a  group  and  indivi¬ 
dually*  and  in  a  word*  like  a  lamp  on  a  /tW  (Matt.  5:15X  guided 
all  in  the  way  of  salvation  Despite  the  many  cares  of  the  convent)  he 

1  A  cocnobiiic  moftisrerv  is  one  which  is  governed  by  Qt  abbess,  imd  in  which 

all  properrv  held  in  common  and  ihe  meals  are  pariaien  hy  alt  together  lu  the  r^eciorj . 
fbliXZ  n'med  Xe.ia,  served  as  the  first  abbess  of  the  Convent  of  the  Holy  Trinity* 

from  I  ^  to  19n.  when  she  died.  .  .  r  k  . 

1  EJesides  serwinc  as  of  the  convene  and  as  the  spiritual  father  of  the  aims.  Sr*  N«- 

trios  '  occupied  hrm«lf  sometimes  mth  assiduous  study  and  wrmng.  espcctaliy  luting  the 
winter  and  sometimes  with  manual  work  of  a  heavy  namre  such  as  nlUng  the  gardens 
f.rms  watt  n^them  with  wa«r  that  be  carried  from  a  long  dtstaace.op^mg  «^ter^Qurses 
catying  Urge  stones  on  his  showers  for  the  construe tion  oTcells  for  the  con- 
vetr^dd  re“a^ing  the  fhoes  of  the  nuns”  (T*  Matthaiakas,  r*/.,  p.  60)* 

51 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

did  not  ccasc  writing  edifying  books  for  Christians  living  in  the  world: 
He  wrote  not  a  few  and  published  most  of  them.  His  writings  include 
1  S^rrmns,  2  Diverse  Serm&nj,  }  The  Seven  Ecumenical  Synod s^  4  Memorial  Ser* 
vices,  5  God  s  Revelafhn,  6  Concerning  Man,  7  Care  of  rhe  Saul,  S  True  and  Pjeudo 
Education,  9  Treasury  of  Sayings,  10  Christian  Ethics,  It  Pastoral  Theology, 
12  Sacred  Catechism,  /3  Christoiogy,  14  The  Immortality  of  the  Soul,  15  The 
Gospel  Story,  16  Study  on  Repentance,  17  Confession,  IS  The  Sacramtnt  of  the 
Holy  Eucharist,  19  The  Saints  of  God,  IQ  Prayer  Book,  21  Know  Thyself, 
22  Theotokarion,  23  Pandect  of  the  Divinely -inspired  Scriptures,  24  The  Psalter, 
25  Hymns  to  the  Holy  Trinity,  26  St,  Augustine's  Book  of  Cries  to  Gad,  17  Study 
Concerning  the  Causes  of  the  Schism,  IS  The  One,  Haly^  and  Apostolic  Church, 
29  Sacred  Tradition,  30  The  Divine  Aiyjteries ,  3i  Historical  Study  Concerning 
the  Precious  Cross,  32  The  Ever  Virgin  Theotokos.  These  he  published  at 
Cairo,  Alexandria,  and  Athens.  His  unpublished  works  arc  ten  in  num- 
ber.‘  All  bis  writings  evince  his  profound  learning  and  true  love  of  God 
and  of  neighbor. 

After  settling  at  the  convent  he  lived  an  altogether  spiritual  life, 
being  always  in  a  state  of  divine  contemplation,  like  Arsenios  the  Great 
and  the  other  Wakeful  Fathers.  He  never  neglected  mental  prayer:  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  have  mercy  upon  meS  For  this  reason  an  exceptional  sweetness 

L  Since  chit  was  written  (1929),  chc  following 
works  of  Sr.  Neccarioi  were  edited  and  published  by 
Matchai»kis  in  the  periodkal  Thshgh:  The  Dhin* 
Liturgy  of  thi  Hely  and  Glorimi  Aposth  ami  Evangflist 
Mark  (Afheos,  1955*  VoL  16,  No.  1,  pp.  14-36)  and 
Htifwical  Study  Cimcrrjjing  iht  Ordaimd  PaitJ:  (1956, 
Vol  27,  No,  3,  pp.  463'4eO), 

2.  Archiiaandriie  Arnphilochios  Makris  (of  the 
Monastery  of  St.John  the  Divine  in  Patraos)  who 
knew  Neeianos  personally,  having  associated  with 
him  from  J914  to  the  time  of  his  death,  remarks; 
*'He  was  a  man  of  prayer,  and  had  one  thought, 
how  to  Create  centers  or  prayer.  He  spoke  of  men¬ 
tal  prayer  because  he  had  cultivated  this  higher 
mode  of  prayer  in  hmiseJf*  (MaEcaiakis,  itp.  dt. 
p.  132), 


The  last  photograph  of  the  Saint, 
taken  a  few  months  before  his  repose. 


ST,  NECTARIOS 


radiated  from  his  serene  countenance,  showing  a  holiness  of  sanccificadon 
in  the  Holy  Spirit. 

He  was  venerable,  meek,  kindly,  humble,  extremely  compassion¬ 
ate  and  chari cable.  He  carried  on  the  good  struggle  until  he  was  assailed 
by  a  serious  disease,  or  rather  until  the  time  came  for  him  to  depart 
CO  Christ,  after  Whom  he  had  aspired,  aud  receive  the  crown  of 
righ  teousness. 

For  a  year  and  a  half  he  suffered  from  prostatitis,  experiencing 
severe  pains  and  enduring  them  with  exemplary  fortitude,  always  than¬ 
king  the  heavenly  Father  and  blessing  His  all-holy  name.  Despite  the 
sharpness  of  the  pains,  he  at  first  refused  to  submit  to  medical  treatment. 
As  the  sisters,  however,  persisted  in  their  entreaties,  he  finally  yielded 
and  was  taken  to  the  Arctaieon  Hospital.^  Here,  after  a  period  of  fifty 
days,  he  surrendered  his  spirit  to  the  Lord  on  November  8*  1920,  at  the 
age  of  seventyTour, 

Some  dmc  after  bis  falling  asleep,  strangely  a  fragrance  was 
emittted  by  his  holy  body,  filling  the  room  in  which  it  lay  and  from 
vvhich  it  was  carried  the  next  day  to  the  chapel  of  the  hospital,  and 
chcnce  by  automobile  to  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Trinity  at  Piraeus. 
While  it  was  in  the  church  many  went  to  venerate  it,  and  with  amaze¬ 
ment  noted  the  fragrant  myrrh  that  was  dripping  from  his  hair  and 
beard.^ 

The  same  day  it  was  brought  to  the  town  of  Acgina  and  from 
there,  as  a  precious  treasure,  to  his  convent,  where  it  was  buried  with 
great  solemuity. 

After  five  months  the  nuns,  desiring  to  construct  a  marble  tomb, 
opened  his  grave  and  removed  the  sacred  body,  which  was  whole  and 
unaltered,  emitted  a  fragrance,  and  bore  all  the  signs  of  sainthood.  It 
remained  in  the  Abbess*  office  until  the  construction  of  the  comb  had 

been  completed. 


1.  At  Athens. 

2.  Snch  a  pheDomenoQ  been  noted  in  the  of  cepaia 

CO  be  known  as  mrrfvhtai,  ''myrrh-emitfing.  Thus,  m  the  Laddrr  of  St.  John  Cliciacos 
we  read  of  a  "wonderful  man"  named  Menas,  who  had  lived  in  a  monastery  for  hfty- nine 
years  fullilling  every  kind  of  office  "On  the  third  day  after  the  falling  ^leep 

of  this  holy  raan,  as  we  were  perforttJtng  the  customary  me tuonal  service,  suddenly  the  en¬ 
tire  place  where  the  Saint  was  lying  was  hlled  wtth  fragrance  T^n  the  great  (the 
Abbot)  allowed  us  to  uncover  the  coffin  in  which  the  Saint  had  b«B  placed  This  doiw, 
we  taw  that  fragrant  myrrh  was  flowing  from  the  precious  soles  of  liis  feet  (L^ddrr,  Con- 

siantlnople,  18S3i  p-  37)- 


53 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 


Three  JC3LIS  after  the  death  of  the  SaiDt^  the  nuns  opened  the 
comb  and  found  the  holy  body  incorrupt  as  before  and  giving  off  the 
same  fragrance.  When  the  Most  Blessed  Archbishop  of  Athens  Chrysos¬ 
tom  person alJy  examined  it  with  devout  interest,  he  ordered  that  the 
body  be  placed  again  in  the  grave  and  removed  at  the  end  of  seven  years 
from  the  falling  asleep  of  the  Saint.^  The  nuns  acted  accordingly!  and 
the  body  was  henceforth  regarded  as  sanctified. 

I,  too,  went  to  the  convent  of  the  ever  memorable,  Most  Holy 
Neccarios,  together  with  Archimandrite  Theodosios  Papaconstantinou, 
because  1  bad  been  hearing  a  great  deal  about  the  sacred  body.  Now  I 
confess  with  absolute  sincerity  that  when  I  approached  the  tomb  to 
pray,  I  smelled  the  fragrance  of  the  holy  body^  and  1  was  so  moved,  that 
I  cried  with  all  my  heart  and  all  my  soul:  '"Truly,  the  Metropolitan  of 
Pcntapolis  Nectarios  has  received  from  God  the  gift  of  sainthood,  like 
the  Saints  of  our  Orthodox  Faith!*' 

The  cvcr-memorablc  one  performed  not  a  few  miracles  when  he 
was  living  and  continues  to  work  many  after  his  death.^  We  omit  them 
for  the  sake  of  brevity  and  because,  as  St,  Gregory  the  Theologian  says 
in  his  sermon  on  the  death  of  St.  Basil  the  Great,  * 'miracles  arc  for  the 
unbelieving  and  not  for  the  believers.  The  marks  of  Saints  arc  their  life 
according  to  Gc>d  and  their  divine  conduct.*'  But  a  most  truthful  piece 
of  evidence  of  the  sainthood  of  Nectarios  is  the  fragrance  etnitted  by  his 
sacred  body,^  It  is  a  very  clear  sign  of  the  indivelling  of  Divine  grace  in 
him,  both  before  and  after  his  death. 

3.  The  fetnovii  of  the  relics  of  Sc.  Nectarios  toot  place  on  Sept.  1,  1953.  the  body  having 
remaujed  whole  and  incorrupt  udtilJ  a  few  years  prior  to  this.  Stt  T.  Matthaiakis,  ffp.  cif. 

2.  Maibaiakis  jays  this  about  the  tniracles  of  the  Saint:  "The  holy  Father  worked  mita^ 
u  ^  living.  But  the  ipitaclej  which  the  grace  of  God  has  been  performing  in 

the  faithful  through  his  iDierccssiou  are  innumerable.  These  mirades  are  events  wincssed 
ID  each  instance  by  many  persons  and  indeed  by  trustworthy,  eminent  men,  distinguished 
for  their  higher  education,  character,  and  social  posit Jod.  Moreover,  v/henever  they  have 

been  perceived  by  all  the  pilgrims  present*  who  saw  the  sud^erers  la 
their  former  state  fot  whole  hours  and  someiinies  took  part  in  the  subduing  of  frabtic  per¬ 
sons  posKSsed  by  evil  spirits.  Hence  these  miracles  are  facts  attested  by  so  many  men,  not 
as  a  result  of  suggestion  or  other  sitch  cause,  but  by  each  one  after  personal  observation 
wd  judgmenc.  Futchermore,  miracles  have  often  taken  place  far  from  the  convent  and  the 
island  01  Aegina,  and  have  been  described  by  the  healed  pilcrims  who  come  to  the  con¬ 
vent  with  offerings”  Op.  cit,,  pp.  76-79). 

ij  fit  Ttrmnns  of  St,  Httisrhs  from  tht  tomb  ihty  wm  hund  tmit  an 
iruffabit  fra^anct  jtrojtitr  than  btfort^  Mattbaiakij  infffrmi  ui  (op.  cit.*  pp.  11,  62). 

54 


T^if  holy  head  of  St.  Nfctarhj^ 
encased  in  a  mstrey  the  top  of  which  can 
he  removed  so  that  the  faithful  may  kiss 
it.  This  telic^  topyther  with  the  boms  of 
the  Saint,  which  are  enclosed  in  a  silver 
box,  are  kept  at  the  Saint's  convent  on 
the  island  of  Aegina.  Twenty  years  and 
more  after  the  Saint's  repose^  his  body 
was  preserved  whole  and  incorrupt  i  hut 
whether  for  our  sins  or  for  other  reasons 
known  to  God,  the  flesh  and  skin  finally 
dissolved,  leaving  only  his  holy  hones, 
which  are  still  fragrant. 

The  icon  behind  the  reliquary 
portrays  the  Saint  on  a  bishop's  throne^ 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

Saint  Mccrarios  atrainerd  to  the  same  enviable  level  of  sainthood 
as  the  great  luminaries  and  Saints  of  our  Church.  He  did  not  ascend 
upon  pillars,  nor  did  he  withdraw  to  hermitages,  nor  did  he  contend 
with  cruel  persecutions  and  tragic  tortures,  like  those  great  combatants 
of  our  holy  religion,  the  Martyrs;  but  we  can  say  chat  his  whole  life 
was  nothing  else  than  a  continuous  doxoiogy  to  God,  and  a  tireless  ef¬ 
fort  and  assiduous  concern  to  benehc  suffering  society  morally  and  rcli* 
giously.  He  lived  in  the  world,  but. was  not,  as  the  Saviour  says,  <?/  the 
world*  He  trod  on  the  earth  yet  conducted  himself  like  a  citizen  of  hea¬ 
ven.  He  had  the  form  of  man,  but  lived  like  an  angel.  He  was  clothed 
with  flesh,  but  was  a  strict  keeper  and  guardian  of  chastity.  He  associa¬ 
ted  with  various  kinds  of  persons,  but  spoke  as  a  spirt cuaJ  man,  alien  to 
the  present  world.  He  was  Iran  sported  by  sublime  ideals  and  warmed 
by  the  aspiration  for  moral  perfection,  and  hence  he  abided  in  a  stare  of 
inner  calm  and  blessedness.  His  w'as  a  peacemaking  holiness,  inspired  by 
evangelical  virtue  and  meditation  on  the  eternal  Kingdom  of  God. 


SOME  MIRACLES 
OF  SAINT  NECTARIOS 
By  D.  PANAGOPOULOS' 

Tranjiatftd  CQnstant  'me  Cavarnoj 

I 

During  the  last  days  of  his  life,  the  Saint  was  in  the  room  for  the 
incurables  of  the  hospital,  among  many  poor  patients  who  were  at  the 
point  of  death*  Beside  his  bed  there  was  a  patient  who  was  paralyzed 
for  years.  As  soon  as  the  Saint  gave  up  his  spirit,  a  nurse  of  the  hospi* 
cal  together  with  the  nun  who  had  accompanied  the  Saint  began  to  pre¬ 
pare  the  holy  body  for  transportation  to  Aegina  and  burial.  When  they 
removed  the  old  sweater  of  the  Saint,  they  placed  it  for  convenience  on 
the  bed  of  the  paralytic  and  continued  preparing  the  body.  Strangely* 
the  paralytic  patient  at  once  became  well  and  rose  from  his  bed,  praising 
the  Lord*  This  was  the  first  miracle  after  the  falling  asleep^  of  the  Saint, 
through  which  God  our  Lord  confirmed  the  sainthood  of  Nectarios. 

L  PanogopouJos,  i  very  devout  Orthodox  layman,  as  the  author  of  many  religious  worts. 
The  ^couJirs  of  the  miracles  that  follow  have  been  taken  from  hit  book.  Nothing  it  Untat- 
0bUfarSi.  Ntctarhi,  which  was  first  published  in  1963  and  has  since  gone  into  a  third  edi¬ 
tion  The  fifsi  edition  reports  63  miracleii  the  third,  200. 

Z.  a  term  used  to  deooTc  the  deaih  of  the  righteous* 

56 


t 


SOME  MIRACLES  OF  ST.  NECTARIOS 

II 

Mrs*  Anna  loannou  Katsounaki,  a  resident  of  Piraeus,  relates 
the  following: 

In  1949,  1  was  operated  on  at  the  anticancer  hospital  "Saint 
Savvas,"  because  I  was  suffering  from  cancer,  and  they  removed  my  en¬ 
tire  uterus.  When  the  definite  period  of  therapy  was  over,  Doctor  Papa- 
constantinou  joyfully  declared  that  1  had  now  escaped  from  the  danger 
of  death  Do  not  be  afraid  any  longer,  he  said.  However,  If  you  should 
ever  see  blood,  then  realize  that  your  end  has  arrived,  because  it  is  a 
sign  that  Cancer  has  appeared  somewhere  again  and  has  produced  a  new 
malignant  spot. 

Eight  years  passed  since  then,  when  in  May,  1957.  1  felt  pains  in 
mv  abdomen,  which  resulted  in  the  appearance  of  blood  one  evening, 
that  is,  of  that  sign  which  was  notifying  me  of  my  end  I  spent  all  that 
night  sitting  in  my  bed  and  crying  inconsolably.  In  the  morning  my  sis* 
ter  Eleftheria  and  her  husband  Nicholas  Mortzanos,  returning  from  Ae¬ 
gina,  where  they  had  spent  the  Easter  holy  days,  dropped  in  my  home. 
Although  1  wanted  to  conceal  my  misfortune,  in  order  not  to  make  them 
unhappy,  my  sister,  seeing  my  pitiful  state,  insisted  on  learning  what 
ray  trouble  was.  As  she  justly  insisted,  my  husband  had  to  reveal  the 
truth. 

My  sister  at  once,  displaying  no  fear,  but  with  composure  and 
confidence,  which  she  drew  from  her  faith  in  the  miracle- worker  Saint 
Neccarios,  approached  me  and  consoled  rae,  saying: 

"Don't  be  afraid,  my  sister.  You  believe  in  God  and  accept  the 
many  miracles  of  St.  Ncctarios  w^hich  have  taken  place  in  our  family." 

At  this  point  she  took  a  small  bottle  from  her  handbag,  contain¬ 
ing  oil  from  the  sacred  lamp  (kanihia)  of  Saint  Nectarios,  gave  it  to  me 
and  said: 

"Take  this  and  pray  to  the  Saint  to  make  you  w^ell,  I  shall  pray, 
too*  Daub  your  abdomen  w'itb  this  blessed  oil  of  the  Saint,  and  rest 
assured  that  in  this  way  you  shall  become  w^clL" 

I  complied  fully  with  her  suggestion,  prayed,  sought  the  help  of 
St.  Nectarios.  And  behold  the  miradcf  From  that  time  my  pains  stopped, 

I  felt  well*  and  the  flow  of  blood  ceased.  From  then  until  today,  when 
I  am  writing  you  about  my  ease,  in  the  year  1962,  1  am  perfectly  free  of 
the  accursed  disease. 

Blessed  be  the  name  of  Saint  Nectarios f 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

III 

Miss  Catherine  Drettakis,  a  resident  of  13  Strategou  Koutouli 
Street,  Koiakaki,  Athens,  relates  the  following: 

My  father^  Emmanuel  Drettakis^  suffered  from  kidney  stones.  On 
July  17,  1962,  he  had  a  crisis  of  the  kidneys.  He  went  to  the  physician 
Androulakis  and  was  examined.  The  latter  said  that  stones  had  been 
formed  and  his  condition  was  critical.  Every  day  his  condition  became 
worse,  and  at  the  advice  of  the  same  physician  he  entered  the  Clinic 
"Precious  Cross,"  on  July  26,  1962.  As  soon  as  he  was  admitted,  they 
tested  his  blood  and  found  that  the  urea  had  reached  1,95-  They  made 
an  X*ray  examination  of  the  kidneys  and  found  that  they  were  swollen 
and  thus  the  flow  of  urine  was  blocked.  The  physician  told  us  that  an 
operation  had  to  be  performed.  It  was  to  be  performed  on  July  28,  but 
my  father  entreated  the  doctor  to  postpone  the  operation,  and  he  post¬ 
poned  it  to  July  30, 

The  afternoon  before  the  operation,  my  Father  begged  my  mother 
to  bring  him  some  oil  of  Saint  Ntetarios,  As  soon  as  she  brought  it,  be 
got  up,  prayed  for  five  minutes,  and  drank  it. 

The  same  evening  I  had  a  photograph  of  the  Saint,  w'hich  I  placed 
on  my  pOlow,  and  I  prayed  almost  during  the  whole  night  to  the  Saint 
to  restore  my  father's  health. 

After  he  took  the  oil,  his  water  began  to  pass  like  a  stream  and 
simultaneously  the  stones  began  to  come  out  one  after  the  other.  The 
next  day,  the  blood  and  the  urine  were  tested.  They  were  normal;  and 
my  father  returned  home  full  of  health,  thanks  to  the  miraculons  power 
of  the  Saint, 

IV 

Mrs.  Demetfa  Anar.  Petrakou,  of  Ambeiochorion,  Laconia,  re¬ 
lates  the  following: 

In  July  of  1963  I  was  admitted  to  the  Zanneion  Hospital  at  Pi¬ 
raeus,  and  was  operated  on  the  left  breast,  where  I  had  a  tumor.  After 
my  departure  from  the  hospital,  1  took  radiation  treatments  at  the  Anti- 
cancer  Hospital  (St.  Savvas).  But  after  43  days  a  tumor  appeared  on  my 
right  breast,  and  you  can  imagine... 

At  the  Anticancer  Hospital  a  lady  urged  me  to  pray  to  St.  Nccta- 
rios,  otherwise  I  would  accomplish  nothing.  In  my  despair,  I  went  to 
Aegioa  together  with  my  husband,  and  prayed  and  entreated  the  Saint 
with  my  whole  soul.  We  took  oil  from  the  sacred  lamp  of  the  Saint  and 
crossed  the  tumor,  and  it  automatically  disappeared.  Glory  to  GodJ 

58 


ON  THE  WRITINGS 
OF  SAINT  NECTARIOS 

By  JOHN  MAVROS 
Graduate  of  the  Tbeoh^kal  School ^ 

University  of  Athens 

HE  WRITINGS  OF  St.  Ncctarios  cover  almost  the  whole  realm 
of  theological  thought.  Especially  respected  are  his  moral 
works  and  his  praises  of  the  Most  Holy  Virgin.  Uniting  in  his 
writings  originality  of  thought,  elegance  of  style,  and  a  fortunate  choice 
of  subjects,  he  is  considered  one  of  the  greatest  and  most  discerning  pre¬ 
lates  of  our  times. 

His  published  works  are  over  thirty  in  number,  as  enumerated 
above  in  his  Life.  Knowing  well  both  Latin  and  French,  he  was  able  to 
treat  fully  the  subjects  he  chose.  His  Ststdy  Concerning  the  Causes  of  the 
Schism  is  considered  to  be  a  thorough  refutation  of  the  Papist  errors  in 

such  matters  as  Papal  infallibility. 

More  than  in  these  qualities,  however,  the  force  of  the  Saint's 

writings  lies  in  the  assistance  they  give  to  the  faith  of  his  readers,  as 
well  as  in  the  harmony  of  the  Saint's  own  life  with  them.  His  own  ex¬ 
planation  of  the  reason  for  his  writing  will  make  this  clear.  He  mentions 
among  other  things  in  the  introduction  to  his  Christ&logy  that; 

"Our  main  purpose  in  composing  the  present  Christology  was  to 
maintaiD  Christians  in  faith,  so  that  they  may  be  firm  and  immovable 
in  faith,  worthily  putting  the  Gospel  into  practice  without  fearing  any 
enemy,  reasonably  and  rightly  and  reverently  living  in  this  age  in  ex¬ 
pectation  with  divine  hope  of  our  Lord  and  Divine  Glory... 

St,  Nectarios  could  properly  be  characterized  as  a  "new  KtUyvas," 
continuing  the  struggle  for  strict  Orthodoxy  and  spiritual  life  of  the 
famous  KfllyvaJej  of  the  18ch  century;  Saints  Nicodemos,  Makanos, 

59 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 


Arscoios*  aad  others,'  Never  did  he  think  his  atfaintnetits  sufTictent, 
always  was  he  in  search  of  new  ways  to  express  his  overflowing  feelings 
of  love  for  men. 

Thus  he  wriccs  in  one  of  his  letters: 

‘T  began  thinking  about  finding  a  suitable  place  not  far  away 
from  the  convent,  about  half  or  three  quarters  of  an  hour  away,  w^hcre 
a  theological  school  could  be  built  from  which  preachers  would  go  out 
to  preach  God's  word,  full  of  zeal  and  divine  love,  working  with  com¬ 
plete  sclbabncgation  for  Christ's  Church,  offering  themselves  as  sacrifices 
to  Jesus  Christ  on  the  divine  altar  of  love.  Pray  to  God  that  my  desire 
may  be  fulfilled  for  God's  glory  and  for  the  good  of  humanity,*^ 

Only  a  heart  aflame  with  divine  love  can  think  and  act  with  such 
self-abnegation  and  continual  exertion  of  its  strength  in  the  service  of 
the  gospel  of  love. 

It  is  perhaps  surprising  that,  in  spite  of  the  evident  "sociability'* 
which  the  Saint  possessed,  he  never  undervalued  the  perfect  sacrifice  of 
those  souls  who,  in  their  faithfulness  to  God,  abandoned  all  to  live  alone 
and  pray  in  holes  of  the  earth.  In  reply  to  a  monk  who  found  a  great 
inequality  between  the  episcopal  rank  of  the  Saint  and  his  monastic 
status,  he  wrote: 

"Allow  me,  your  holiness,  to  express  my  opinion  on  the  relarive 
worthiness  and  preeminence  of  these  two  persons  Cbishop  and  monk).  I 
would  say  that  your  holiness  rightly  distinguishes  an  inequality  between 
them,  but  that  you  wrongly  find  the  preeminence  to  lie  with  the  rank 
of  bishop.  As  for  us,  dear  brother,  feeling  such  an  inferiority  and  naked¬ 
ness,  we  do  not  dare  to  compare  ourselves  to  the  least  of  the  monks, 
living  in  the  exercise  of  the  decent  policy.  Truly,  what  is  more  brilliant 
and  worthy  of  respect  than  this  policy?  It  is  what  orders  the  whole 
picture  and  gives  to  it  its  archetypal  beauty.  It  conducts  to  bliss,  orna¬ 
ments  existence,  and  leads  to  philosophy;  it  discovers  mysteries,  Jearns 
truth...  conducts  to  God.  This  is  why,  dear  brother,  I  am  convinced 
that  the  monk  is  preeminent  to  the  bishop;  this  I  confess  in  all  siu- 
cerity..." 

This  is  a  true  eulogy  of  the  angelic  policy,  uttered  by  the  heart 
and  lips  of  St,  Ncctarios.  But  this  peaceful,  holy  heart  could  become 
fiery  whcQ  it  came  to  questions  of  faith.  In  one  of  the  last  works  of  his 

1.  See  Th*  OftbodQx  WtrJi  voK  1,  no.  p*  1&5. 

60 


ON  THE  WRITINGS  OF  ST.  NECTARIOS 

life,  the  Manual  for  Pr/ejfj,  St.  Ncctarios  examines  the  question  of  the 
primacy  of  the  Bishop  of  Rome,  using  a  calm  and  clear  historical  judge¬ 
ment,  from  a  thoroughly  Orthodox  point  of  view.  He  notes: 

^'Concerning  the  Evangelise  John,  the  familiar  friend  of  Christ, 
the  V^irgin  and  Theologian,  what  shall  I  say  first  and  last?  W'hich  laud 
and  hymo  shall  1  bring  forth?  W'ho  has  heard  such  praise  as  the  Evan¬ 
gelist  has  had?  In  the  Lauds  he  is  called  "swceincss  of  the  Trinity," 
after  receiving  all  ocher  praises.  And  yet,  through  the  primacy  of  Peter 
and  because  of  their  succession  to  his  privileges,  Sc  John  comes  after  and 
was  obliged  to  be  subordinated  while  Jiving  to  such  as  Linus,  Anicitus, 
and  Clement,  the  successors  of  Peter  (if  indeed  they  were),  and  through 
them  CO  receive  the  dogmattc  truths!!!"  (1907  cd.,  p.  81.)  Truly  an  ex¬ 
cellent  reply,  imposing  silence  on  the  nonsense  of  the  Papal  primacy. 

Correspondence  with  his  spiritual  children,  and  especially  with 
the  sisterhood  under  his  spiritual  guidance,  took  much  of  the  Saint's 
time.  The  largest  number  of  his  letters  date  from  the  years  1904  1908, 
and  they  present  in  relief  the  innocent  soul  and  the  attainment  of  the 
Saint,  Even  a  small  sampling  of  these  will  persuade  the  reader  of  his 
spiritual  vitality.  To  the  nuns  in  Aegina  he  writes; 

■'Seek  God  every  day,  but  in  your  heart,  and  not  outside  of  it, 
and  on  discovering  Him  stand  with  fear  and  trembling,  like  the  Cher¬ 
ubim  and  Seraphim,  as  your  heart  becomes  God's  dwelling  place* 
To  discover  the  Lord,  humble  yourself  to  the  earth  before  Him,  for  the 
Lord  rejects  the  proud  and  highminded,  but  loves  and  visits  the  humble 
of  heart.,.  When  we  are  delivered  from  the  malice  of  pride  and  become 
humble,  enthroning  humility  in  our  hearts,  we  possess  all;  because  hu¬ 
mility  is  elevating  and  bears  with  it  the  whole  choir  of  virtues,  and 
when  one  becomes  humble  all  the  virtues  follow..." 

On  another  occasion,  wishing  to  protect  the  young  and  inexperi¬ 
enced  sisterhood  from  excesses  of  indiscretion  and  their  sad  consequences, 
he  wrote  to  the  Abbess  Xenis: 

Remember  that  you  are  women  and  do  not  try  to  be  equal  to 
men,..  Without  courage  of  soul  great  undertakings  arc  impossible,  and 
when  one  dares  to  commence  such  undertakings  before  his  soul  has  been 
strengthened  through  moral  virtues;  he  will  be  seduced  and  fall.  This  is 
why  I  intend  and  wish  you  to  walk  in  che  way  of  caution  in  all  things, 
performing  the  obligations  of  the  monastic  state  as  well  as  the  obligation 


61 


THE  ORTHOmX  WORD 


to  maiotaiD  your  body  and  health,  scclcing  your  moral  perfection/* 

The  reader  may  easily  admire  the  simplicity  of  the  Saint's  expres¬ 
sion  and  its  wisdom.  In  this  he  offers  a  contrast  to  the  theologians  of  to* 
day  who  occupy  themselves  with  *‘incellcctuar'  theology  while  remai¬ 
ning  quite  confused  and  unstable  in  thought;  with  them  ’"word  is 
fought  by  any  %vordj**  /,  f.,  what  they  build  today  is  pulled  down  to¬ 
morrow,  if  not  by  themselves  then  by  their  opponents. 

Both  the  life  and  the  works  of  Sc*  Ncccarios  have  been  a  true 
blessing  to  Orthodox  people.  The  sincere  soul  in  search  of  guidance  can 
find  in  him  everything  holy,  everything  elcvacing^  a  true  model  to 
follow. 

His  integral  personality  may  be  seen  also  in  his  face.  It  —  the 
first  photograph  in  Orthodox  hagiology,  together  with  chat  of  the 
Russian  Saint  John  of  Kronstadt  --  calls  all  of  us  to  see  where  grace 
and  redemption  arc  to  be  found,  namely  in  the  fulfillment  of  the  com¬ 
mandments,  and  in  the  ministration  of  love* 

As  the  rain  fell  on  the  earth  of  Aegina  Island  and  gave  life  to 
the  thirsty  land,  after  three  and  a  half  years  of  drought,  through  the 
prayers  of  the  Saint  —  may  his  prayers  now  in  heaven  in  the  same  way 
bring  down  the  rain  of  Divine  grace  on  us,  to  aid  us  to  bring  forth  true 
works  of  repentance..  Amen. 


An  ojjidal  based  m  Soviet  sources  themselves^ 

on  the  existence  in  the  USSR  of 

THE  CATACOMB  CHURCH 

EPISTLE  OF  METROPOLITAN  PHlLARET 
TO  ORTHODOX  BISHOPS  AND  ALL  WHO  HOLD  DEAR 
THE  FATE  OF  THE  RUSSIAN  CHURCH* 

In  recent  days  the  Soviet  Government  in  Moscow  and  various  parts 
of  the  world  celebrated  a  new  anniversary  of  the  Ckcober  Revolution  of 
191?  which  brought  it  to  power* 

We,  on  the  other  hand,  call  to  mind  in  these  days  the  beginniog 
of  the  way  of  the  cross  for  the  Russian  Orthodox  Church,  upon  which 
from  that  time,  as  it  were,  all  the  powers  of  hell  have  fallen. 

Meeting  resistance  on  the  part  of  Archpastors,  pastors,  and  laymen 
strong  in  spirit,  the  Communist  power,  in  its  fight  with  religion,  began 
from  the  very  first  days  the  attempt  to  weaken  the  Church  not  only  by  kil¬ 
ling  those  of  her  leaders  who  were  strongest  in  spirit,  but  also  by  means 
of  the  artificial  creation  of  schisms. 

Thus  arose  the  so-called  "Living  Church"  and  the  renovation 
movement,  which  had  the  character  of  a  Church  tied  to  a  Protestant- 
Communist  reformation.  Notwithstanding  the  support  of  the  Govern¬ 
ment,  this  schism  was  crushed  by  the  inner  power  of  the  Church.  It  was 
too  clear  to  believers  that  the  "Renovated  Church*'  was  uncanonical  and 
altered  Orthodoxy.  For  this  reason  people  did  not  follow  it. 

The  second  attempt,  after  the  death  of  Patriarch  Tikhon  and  the 
arrest  of  the  locum  tenens  of  the  patriarchal  throne,  Mcrropolitao  Peter, 
had  greater  success.  The  Soviet  power  succeded  in  1927  in  sundering  m 
part  the  inner  unity  of  the  Church.  By  confinement  in  prison,  torture,  and 
special  methods,  it  broke  the  will  of  the  vicar  of  the  patriarchal  locum  te- 
nens.  Metropolitan  Sergy,  and  secured  from  him  the  proclamation  of  a  de¬ 
claration  of  the  complete  loyalty  of  the  Church  to  the  Soviet  power,  even 
to  the  point  where  the  joys  and  successes  of  the  Soviet  Union  were  de¬ 
clared  by  the  Metropolitan  to  the  joys  and  successes  of  the  Church,  and 
its  failures  to  be  her  failures*  What  can  be  more  blasphemous  than  such 

L  Ruisitft  1965i  tiO.  22* 


63 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

an  idea,  which  was  justly  appraised  by  many  at  that  time  as  an  attempt 
to  unite  light  with  darkness,  and  Christ  with  Belial.  Both  Patriarch  Ti¬ 
khon  and  Metropolitan  Peter,  as  well  as  others  who  served  as  locum  temns 
of  the  Patriarchal  throne,  had  earlier  refused  to  sign  a  similar  declaration, 
for  which  they  were  subjected  to  arrest,  imprisonment,  and  banishment. 

Protesting  against  this  declaration  --  which  was  proclaimed  by 
Metr,  Sergy  by  himself  alone,  without  the  agreement  of  the  suppressed 
majority  of  the  episcopate  of  the  Russian  Church,  violating  thus  the  34ch 
Apostolic  Rule*  -  many  bishops  who  w^erc  then  in  the  death  camp  at 
SolovkP  wrote  to  the  Metropolitan:  "Any  government  can  sometimes 
make  decisions  that  are  foolish,  unjust,  cruel,  to  which  the  Church  is 
forced  to  submit,  but  which  she  cannot  rejoice  over  or  approve.  One  of 
the  aims  of  the  Soviet  Government  is  the  extirpation  of  religion,  but  the 
Church  cannot  acknowledge  its  successes  in  this  direction  as  her  own 
successes"  (Open  Letter  from  Solovki,  Sept*  27,  1927). 

The  courageous  majority  of  the  sons  of  the  Russian  Church  did 
not  accept  the  declaration  of  Metr,  Sergy,  considering  chat  a  union  of 
the  Church  with  the  godless  Soviet  State,  which  had  set  itself  the  goal 
of  annihilating  Christianity  in  general,  could  not  exist  on  principle. 

But  a  schism  nonetheless  occurred.  The  minority,  accepting  the 
declaration,  formed  a  central  administration,  the  so-called  "Moscow 
Patriarchate,  which,  while  being  supposedly  officially  recognized  by 
the  authorities,  in  actual  fact  received  no  legal  rights  whatever  from 
them;  for  they  continued,  now  without  hindrance,  a  most  cruel  persecu¬ 
tion  of  the  Church,  Iq  the  words  of  Joseph,  Metropolitan  of  Petrograd, 
Metr.  Sergy,  having  proclaimed  the  declaration,  entered  upon  the  path 
of  "monstrous  arbitrariness,  flattery,  and  betrayal  of  the  Church  to  the 
interests  of  atheism  and  the  destruction  of  the  Church." 

The  majority,  renouncing  the  declaration,  began  an  illegal  eccle¬ 
siastical  existence.  Almost  all  the  bishops  were  tortured  and  killed  in 
death  camps,  among  them  the  heum  Umns  Metr.  Peter,  Metr.  Cyril  of 

L.  Wlijeh  i^ads;  Tht  biihsps  of  nation  mutt  athnowlod^  him  who  is  jirtt  among  thrm  and  ac¬ 
count  him  at  tbtir  htad,  and  do  nothing  of  conttamntt  without  his  contttit,..  But  nttthir  In  him  who 
it  th*  first  do  anything  without  th*  ionstns  of  ait.,. 

2.  Solovki;  the  Solovetski  lsljicid$  io  the  White  Se;i,  where  ooe  of  Russiai’s  greatest  coeno- 
bicic  monasteries  was  situated.  Founded  hy  Sts.  Zossima  aod  Sawati  in  the  15th  century, 
the  TrpsfiguraiioQ  Mooascery  was  the  heart  of  the  *  Northern  Thebaid"  and  a  source  of 
Chriuian  enlightenment  and  culture  for  the  whole  of  the  northern  tegions.  After  the  ELev- 
oJution  of  1917  the  Soviet  Govetoment  turned  the  monastery  into  a  forced  labor  coocentra- 
tioa  camo,  where  thousands  of  innocent  clergymen  and  laymen  died,  earkhing  with  their 
martyrs'  blood  the  already  rich  hagiography  of  the  holy  islands. 

64 


THE  CATACOMB  CHURCH 

Kazan,  who  was  respected  by  all,  and  Metr,  Joseph  of  Petrograd,  who 
was  shot  to  death  at  the  end  of  1938,  as  well  as  many  ocher  bishops  and 
thousands  of  priests,  monks,  nuns,  and  courageous  laymen.  Those  bishops 
and  clergy  who  miraculously  remained  alive  began  co  live  illegally  and 
to  serve  Divine  services  secretly,  hiding  themselves  from  the  authorities 
and  originating  in  this  fashion  the  Catacomb  Church  in  the  Soviet  Union. 

Little  news  of  this  Church  has  come  to  the  free  world.  The  Soviet 
press  Jong  kept  silent  about  her,  wishing  co  give  the  impression  that  all 
believers  in  the  USSR  stood  behind  the  Moscow  Patriarchate.  They  even 
acccmptcd  ro  deny  entirely  the  existence  of  the  Catacomb  Church. 

But  then,  after  the  death  of  Statin  and  the  exposure  of  his  activ- 
ity,  and  especially  after  the  fail  of  Khrushchev,  the  Soviet  press  has  be¬ 
gun  to  wxitc  more  and  more  often  on  the  secret  Church  in  the  USSR, 
calling  it  the  "sect"  of  Trm-Orthod&x  Chrhtians.  It  was  apparently  im¬ 
possible  to  keep  silent  about  it  any  longer;  its  numbers  are  too  great  and 
it  causes  the  authorities  too  much  alarm. 

Unexpectedly  in  the  "Atheist  Dictionary"  (State  Political  Litera¬ 
ture  Publishers,  Moscow,  1964),  on  pp  123  and  124  the  Car Church 
is  openly  discussed.  "True-Orthodox  Christtans"  we  read  in  the  "Diction-* 
ary,"  "an  Orthodox  sect,  originating  in  the  years  1922' 24.  It  was  organ¬ 
ized  in  1927,  when  Metr.  Sergy  proclaimed  the  principle  of  loyalty  to 
the  Soviet  pow'tr."  "Monarchist"  (we  w'ould  say  ecclesiastical)  "ele¬ 
ments,  having  united  around  Metr.  Joseph  (Petrovykh)  of  Leningrad" 
(Petrograd)  "*-}osefhitej"  or,  as  the  same  Dictionary  says,  TtkhmiUr., 
"formed  in  1928  guiding  center ^  the  True^Orthodox  Church,  and  united  all 
groups  and  elements  which  came  out  against  the  Soviet  order"  (w'C  may 
add  from  ourselves,  "atheist"  order).  "The  True-Orthodox  Church  directed 
into  the  villages  a  multitude  of  monks  and  nuns,"  for  the  most  part  of 
course  priests,  we  add  again  from  ourselves,  who  celebrated  Divine  ser¬ 
vices  and  rites  secretly  and  "conducted  propaganda  against  the  leadership 
of  the  Orthodox  Church,"  i.e  ,  against  the  Moscow  Patriarchate  which 
had  given  in  to  the  Soviet  power,  "appealing  to  people  not  to  submit 
to  Soviet  la\vs,"  which  arc  directed,  quite  apparently,  against  the  Church 
of  Christ  and  faith. 

By  the  testimony  of  the  "Atheist  Dictionary,"  the  Trut^Orthodox 
Chrtstiam  organized  and  continue  to  organize  house,  i.M.,  secret,  cata¬ 
comb  churches  and  monasteries...  preserving  in  full  the  doctrine  and  rites 
of  Orthodoxy.  "  They  "do  not  acknowledge  the  authority  of  the  Ortho¬ 
dox  Patriarch,"  the  successor  of  Metr.  Sergy,  Patriarch  Alexy. 

65 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

Striving  to  fence  off  *  the  True-Orf^jodox  CMsfiam  **from  the  in- 
tluencc  oi  Soviet  realitv/'  chietly  of  course  from  atheist  propaganda, 
their  leaders,.,  make  use  of  the  myth  of  Antkhrhf^  who  has  supposedly 
been  ruling  in  the  world  since  1917,"  The  anti-Christian  nature  of  the 

Soviet  powxr  is  undoubted  for  any  sound-thinking  person,  and  all  the 
more  for  a  Christian. 

Trui-Orthodox Christians  "usually  refuse  to  participate  in  elections," 
which  in  the  Soviet  Union,  a  country  deprived  of  freedom,  are  simply  a 
comedy,  "and  other  public  functions;  they  do  not  accept  pensions,  do 
not  allow  their  children  to  go  to  school  beyond  the  fourth  class...” 

Here  is  an  unexpected  Soviet  testimony  of  the  truth,  to  which  nothing 
need  be  added. 

Honor  and  praise  to  the  Trut'Orth^>dQx  Christians  heroes  of  the 
spirit  aod  confessors,  who  have  not  bowed  before  the  terrible  power, 
which  can  stand  only  by  terror  aod  force  and  has  become  accustomed  to 
the  abject  flattery  of  its  subjects.  The  Soviet  rulert  fall  into  a  rage  over 
the  fat.t  that  there  exist  people  who  fear  God  more  than  men.  They  arc 
powerless  before  the  millions  of  True  Orthodox  Christians. 

However,  besides  the  True-Orthodox  Church  in  the  Soviet  Union  and 
the  Moscow'  Patriarchate,  which  have  communion  neither  of  prayer  nor 
of  any  other  kind  with  each  other,  there  exists  yet  a  third  part  of  the 
Russian  Church  --free  from  oppression  and  persecution  by  the  atheists  — 
^bc  Kussian  Orthodox  Church  Outside  of  Vi^ussia.  She  has  never  broken  the 
spiritual  and  prayerful  bonds  with  the  Catacomb  Church  in  the  home¬ 
land.  After  the  last  war  many  members  of  this  Church  appeared  abroad 
and  entered  into  the  Russian  Church  Outside  Russia,  and  thus  the  bond 
betw-'cen  these  two  Churches  was  strengthened  yet  more  -  a  bond  which 
has  been  sustained  illegally  up  to  the  present  time.  As  time  goes  on,  it 
becomes  all  the  stronger  and  better  established. 

The  part  of  the  Russian  Church  that  is  abroad  and  free  is  called 
upon  to  speak  in  the  free  world  in  the  name  of  the  persecuted  Catacomb 
Church  in  the  Soviet  Union;  she  reveals  to  all  the  truly  tragic  condition 
of  believers  in  the  USSR,  which  the  atheist  power  so  carefully  hushes 
up,  with  the  aid  of  the  Moscow  Pafriarchate;  she  calls  on  those  who 
have  not  Jose  shame  and  conscience  to  help  the  persecuted 

This  is  why  it  is  our  sacred  duty  to  watch  over  the  existence  of 
the  Kutjian  Church  Outside  of  The  Lord,  the  searcher  of  hearts, 

having  permitted  His  Church  to  be  subjected  to  oppression,  persecution, 

66 


THE  CATACOMB  CHURCH 

and  deprivation  of  all  rights  in  the  godless  Soviet  State,  has  given  us, 
Russian  exiles,  in  the  free  world  the  talent  of  jretdem,  and  He  expects 
from  us  the  increase  of  this  talent  and  a  skillful  use  of  it.  And  we  have 
not  the  right  to  hide  it  in  the  earth.  Let  no  one  dare  to  say  to  us  that 

we  should  do  this,  let  no  one  push  us  to  a  mortal  sin. 

For  the  fate  of  our  Russian  Church  we,  Russian  bishops,  arc 
responsible  before  God,  and  no  one  in  the  world  can  free  us  from  this 
sacred  obligation.  No  one  can  UDderstand  better  than  we  what  is  hap¬ 
pening  in  our  homeland,  of  which  no  one  can  have  any  doubt.  Many 
times  foreigners,  even  Orthodox  people  and  those  vested  with  high  ec¬ 
clesiastical  rank,  have  made  gross  errors  in  connection  with  the  Russian 
Church  aod  false  conclusions  concerning  her  present  condition.  May  God 
forgive  them  this,  since  they  do  not  know  what  they  arc  doing. 

This  is  why,  whether  it  pleases  anyone  or  not,  the  Russian 
Orthodox  Church  Outside  of  Russia  will  continue  to  exist  and  will  raise  her 
voice  in  the  defense  of  the  faith. 

She  will  not  be  silent: 

1.  As  long  as  the  Soviet  power  shall  conduct  a  merciless  battle 
against  the  Church  and  believers,  about  which  the  whole  Soviet  press 
also  testifies,  except  for  the  Journal  of  the  Moscow  Patriarchate. 

2.  As  long  as,  by  the  testimony  of  the  same  press,  there  exists  ia 
the  USSR  a  secret^  Catacomb  True-Orthodox  Churchy  by  its  very  existence 
testifying  to  persecutions  against  the  faith  and  to  complete  absence  of 
freedom  of  religion. 

3.  As  long  as  the  Soviet  power  shall  force  the  hierarchs  of  the 
Moscow  Patriarchate  manifestly  to  lie  and  affirm  that  there  arc  oo  per¬ 
secutions  against  the  Church  in  the  USSR  and  chat  the  Church  there 
supposedly  enjoys  complete  freedom  in  accordance  with  the  Soviet 
constitutionCMetropolitans  Pimen,Nicodjn3,  John  of  New  York,  Archbp. 
Alexy,  and  others). 

4.  As  long  as  the  Journal  of  the  Moscow  Patriarchate,  at  the  demand 
of  the  authorities,  docs  not  mention  even  a  single  church  that  has 
been  dosed  and  destroyed,  while  at  the  same  time  Soviet  newspapers 
speak  of  hundreds  and  thousands. 

5.  As  long  as  churches  in  the  USSR  shall  be  defiled  by  atheists, 
being  converted  into  movie-houses,  storehouses,  museums,  clubs,  apart¬ 
ments,  etc.,  of  which  fact  there  arc  living  wuYncsscs  in  the  persons  of 
tourists  who  have  been  to  Soviet  Union. 


67 


THE  ORTHODOX  WORD 

6.  Uatil  the  thousands  of  destroyed  and  defiled  churches  shall  be 
restored  as  churches  of  God. 

7.  Until  the  representatives  of  the  Moscow  Patriarchate  in  clerical 
robes  shall  cease  agitating  in  the  free  world  in  the  interest  of  the  god¬ 
less  Soviet  power,  in  this  way  dressing  the  wolf  in  sheep's  clothing* 

8.  Until  the  hierarchs  of  the  Moscow  Patriarchate  end  their  evU 
denial  of  the  terrible  and  dreadful  devastation  of  the  Pochaev  Lavra  and 
other  monasteries,  and  stop  the  almost  complete  liquidation  of  monks 
there  and  the  terrible  persecutions  of  her  pilgrims,  even  to  killing  and 
murder  (letters  from  the  USSR).* 

9.  Until  priests  accused  by  Soviet  courts  shall  receive  the  right  to 
defend  themselves  freely  though  the  Soviet  press. 

10.  Until  there  shall  cease  calumny  and  ridicule  of  faith,  the 
Church,  priests,  monks,  and  believing  Christians  in  the  Soviet  press. 

11.  Until  freedom  shall  be  given  to  every  believer  in  the  USSR 
openly  to  confess  his  faith  and  defend  it. 

12.  Until  it  shall  be  officially  permitted  children  and  young  peo¬ 
ple  to  know  the  foundations  of  their  faith,  to  visit  the  churches  of  God, 
to  participate  in  Divine  services  aad  receive  communion  of  the  Holy 
Mysteries. 

13-  Until  it  shall  be  permitted  parents  who  arc  believers  to  baptize 
their  children  without  hindrance  and  without  sad  consequences  for  their 
official  careers  and  personal  happiness. 

14.  Until  parents  who  raise  their  children  religiously  shall  cease 
from  being  accused  of  crippling  them,  parents  and  children  both  being 
deprived  of  freedom  for  this  and  shut  up  in  mental  institutions  or  prison* 

15.  Until  freedom  of  thought,  speech,  action,  and  voting  shall  be 
given  not  only  to  every  believer,  but  also  to  every  citizen  of  the  Soviet 
Union,  first  of  all  to  writers  and  creative  thinkers,  against  whom 
the  godless  power  is  now  waging  an  especially  bitter  battle  using  intol¬ 
erable  means* 

16*  Until  the  Church  and  religious  societies  in  general  in  the  USSR 
shall  receive  the  most  eJemeutary  rights,  if  only  the  right  to  be  a  legal 
person  before  Soviet  laws,  the  right  to  own  property,  to  direct  one's 
own  affairs  in  actual  fact,  to  designate  and  transfer  rectors  of  parishes  and 
priests,  to  open  and  dedicate  new  churches,  to  preach  Christianity  open¬ 
ly  not  only  in  churches,  but  outside  them  also,  especially  among  young 
1.  See  Thi  Or/Wffx  Word^  toI.  1,  no.  5,  pp*  lOJff, 


68 


THE  CATACOMB  CHURCH 

proplc,««.  In  other  words,  until  the  coadition  of  all  religious  societies 
shall  cease  from  being,  one  and  the  same,  wnhmi  rights. 

Until  all  this  shall  come  about,  we  shall  not  cease  to  accuse  the 
godless  persecutors  of  faith  and  those  who  evilly  cooperate  with  them 
under  the  exterior  of  supposed  represent  a  tfves  of  the  Church.  In  this 
c  c  Russian  Church  Outside  of  Russia  has  always  seen  one  of  her  im- 
portant  tasks.  Knowing  this,  the  Soviet  power  through  its  agents  wa¬ 
ges  with  her  a  stubborn  battle,  not  hesicatiug  to  use  any  means :  lies, 

bribes,  gifts,  and  intimidation.  We,  however,  shall  not  suspend  our 

accusation. 

Declaring  this  before  the  face  of  the  whole  w^orJd,  I  appeal  to  aJI 
our  brothers  in  Christ  —  Orthodox  bishops  —  and  to  all  people  who  hold 
dear  the  fate  of  the  persecuted  Russian  Church  as  a  part  of  the  Universal 
Church  of  Christ,  for  understanding,  support,  and  rheir  holy  prayers. 
As  for  our  spiritual  children,  we  call  on  them  rohold  firmly  to  the  truth 
of  Orthodoxy,  witnessing  of  her  both  by  one's  word  and  especially  by 
a  prayerful,  devout  Christian  life. 


THE  MIRACULOUS  [CONS 

OF  THE  MOTHER  OF  GOD 

THE  KORSUN 
MOTHER  OF  GOD' 

CCORDING  TO  TRADITION  the  Korsun  icon  is  from  the  hand 
of  the  first  icoQographer,  St.  Luke  the  Evangelist,  who  also 
painted  other  great  wonderworking  icons  of  the  Mother  of  God: 
for  example,  those  of  Vladimir,  Don,  Tikhvin,  the  Passion*  The  history  of 
the  original  Korsun  icon  is  not  clear.  It  was  brought  to  Russia,  according 
to  one  account,  by  Sc.  Vladimir  in  988,  the  very  year  of  the  baptism  of 
Russia^  but  according  to  another  account,  in  the  12ch  century,  being  re¬ 
ceived  by  the  great  St.  Ephrosinia  for  her  convent  in  Polotsk. 

The  very  composition  of  the  icon  is  extremely  moving,  the  gently- 
leaning  Infant  and  the  position  of  the  Theotokos  evoking  a  harmony  of 
encircling  lines,  wherein  the  eyes  of  the  Mother  of  God  form  a  centre  and 
look  at  the  viewer  with  sad  and  stern  penetration...  The  composition  is 
also  known  as  "tender  compassion/' 

In  Russia  before  the  Revolution  there  wxre  a  large  number  of  very 
venerated  miraculous  icons  of  this  type.  A  more  recent  icon  in  St.  Isaak's 
Cathedral  in  St  Petersburg,  and  before  that  for  a  long  time  in  private 
hands,  was  also  venerated  as  miraculous;  it  is  recorded  that  St*  John  of 
Kronstadi,  once  having  visited  the  apartment  w^here  the  icon  was  housed, 
was  so  moved  by  the  beauty  of  it  that  he  spent  a  halhhour  kneeling  and 
praying  before  the  sacred  image. 

The  illustration  opposite  is  a  copy  from  one  of  these  old  icons. 

THE  WEEPING  KORSUN  ICON 

Yet  the  most  remarkable  of  at]  the  Korsun  icons  was  one  know'n 
as  that  of  Isborsk.  Since  it  was  glorified  by  miraculous  rears,  the  infor¬ 
mation  on  it,  taken  from  an  old  manuscript,  is  presented  here  as  an  ad¬ 
dition  to  the  list  of  THE  WEEPING  ICONS  begun  in  volume  1,  number 
6,  of  Orthodox  l^ordi 

1*  iDformaiion  ffom  E.  PowlyaniD,  Mabir  Csd,  St.  Petersburg,  D.d. 

70 


The  Korsun  Aiother  of 

A  recent  icon  by 
the  distinguished 
Russian  iconogfapher^ 
PlMEN  M.  SQfROmV 


Cotif twf  of  FiCiien  M  ■  Sofrfraor 


10.  The  Korsun  Icon  of  Ishorsh  near  Pskov-  A  great  and  glorious  mir¬ 
acle  of  the  Mother  of  God  took  place  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1657.  On 
Tuesday  of  the  sixth  week  of  the  Great  and  Holy  Lent,  on  March  17,  the 
German  troops  came  at  night  to  the  outskirts  of  the  Pskov-Caves  Mon¬ 
astery  and  burned  down  a  whole  village,  shedding  much  blood.  The 
Christians  living  outside  the  nearby  town  of  Isborsk  fled  in  fear  wurhin 
the  walls  of  this  town*  Among  them  was  a  widow,  Budokia,  w'ho  had 
at  home  an  icon  of  the  Most  Holy  Mother  of  God  with  the  Infant  Jesus 
Christ,  which  she  took  vihh  her  to  Isborsk  and  kept  in  her  room.  On 
March  22,  Palm  Sunday,  just  at  the  time  when  a  religious  procession 
was  proceeding  to  the  St.  Nicholas  Monastery  outside  the  city,  the  w^i- 
dow  lit  a  candle  before  the  icon  and  began  to  pray  with  her  daughter 
Photinia.  And  then  she  saw  a  terrible  sign  -  on  the  icon  of  the  Most 
Holy  Mother  of  God  there  appeared  tears  flowing  from  both  eyes.  The 
w^idow  informed  a  certain  churchman  Simeon  of  this,  and  he  took  the 


sacred  icon  and  brought  it  to  the  main  church  of  the  Wonderworker  St. 
Nicholas.  On  March  24  the  chief  of  the  array  together  with  others  saw 
traces  of  the  tears  from  both  eyes,  and  from  the  left  eye  a  stream  of  tears 
flowing  down  and  stopping  on  the  Blessed  Infant.  They  sent  an  act  of 
witness  of  this  miracle  to  Archbishop  Makary  of  Pskov,  and  he  ordered 
a  moieben  to  be  sung  for  forty  days  before  the  icon.  Thanks  to  rhe  prayers 
of  the  Most  Holy  Mother  of  God,  the  town  of  Isborsk  was  saved  from 
the  enemy.  Later  the  icon  was  brought  to  Pskov  for  a  time,  and  then 
returned  to  the  church  of  Sc.  Nicholas,  where  it  worked  many  miracles. 


71 


ORTHODOXY  IN  THE 

CONTEMPORARY  WORLD 

EASTER  IN  THE  USSR,  1966 


Three:  accounts  in  the  foreign  press  of 
Easter  services  in -Moscow,  while  dilfer- 
ing  slightly  in  details,  give  one  a  general 
picture  of  some  of  the  conditions  of  reli¬ 
gious  life  in  the  USSR  (reported  m  Pouev, 
Apr.  29,  1966). 

According  to  the  Moscow  correspon¬ 
dent  of  the  Sew  Y&rk  Herald  Tnhune  (Apr. 
11),  the  Elokhovsky  Cathedral,  where 
Patriarch  Alexy  served,  w'as  overflowing 
with  people.  Thousands  upon  thousands 
of  young  people  surrounded  the  church* 
■\*.It  was,  this  time,  an  unusual  Easter**, 
without  harassment  of  believers.  True, 
there  were  some  shouting  Komsomol 
youth,  but  they  were  unorganized.  They 
were  pushed  aside  by  thousands  and 
thousands  of  young  people  ivho,  appar¬ 
ently,  were  interested  in  what  the  feast 
was  all  about.  They  crowded  around, 
climbed  fences... 

'^Trying  to  secure  a  place  from  which 
to  sec  the  Patriarch  and  clergy  in  the 
traditional  procession,  they  broke  win¬ 
dows  in  busses  and  a  newspaper  kiosk. 
But  as  sensitive  as  they  were  to  the  at¬ 
tempts  of  the  militia  to  dislodge  them, 
they  showed  respect  for  the  religious 
ceremony* 

“Only  one  young  man  threw  some¬ 
thing  like  a  firecracker  But  he  got  neither 
applause  nor  any  other  signs  of  approval. 

"...Seeing  the  crowd  of  young  people, 
one  can  sec  with  onc*s  own  eyes  why  the 
Party  is  so  sensitive  in  this  sphere*  These 


young  people  were  curious;  they  were 
searching.  They  w^anted  to  know  first  of 
all  just  what  religion  is.  In  the  last  few 
months  the  Party  has  acknowledged  its 
well-known  failures  on  the  field  of 
battle  with  religion.  Now  it  is  trying  to 
reform  its  anti  religious  front, 

‘  Observing  these  voung  people,  who 
followed  the  ceremonies  with  concentra* 
tion  and  great  respect,  one  can  under¬ 
stand  why  the  Party  is  disturbed." 

According  to  the  Hamburg  newpaper 
there  were  about  100,000  people  in 
the  40  functioning  churches  in  Moscow 
on  Easter  night.  About  6000  youths  ga¬ 
thered  outside  the  Elokhovsky  Cathedral 
and,  according  to  this  report,  did  attempt 
to  interfere  with  the  services  by  mocking 
believers,  playing  dance  music,  and  shou¬ 
ting.  They  were  restrained  by  the  miii- 
tia  only  w'hcn  they  attempted  to  inter¬ 
fere  with  the  procession. 

The  Belgian  newspaper  S&ir  (Apr,  14) 
writes  that  Easter  was  celebrated  in 
Moscow  this  year  wdih  an  exceptional 
religious  Icrvour.  Churches  were  over¬ 
flowing  with  joyous  believers*  Many 
Russian  Easter  custorns  were  kept,  even 
in  the  homc'^  of  atheists.  On  Sunday  fa¬ 
milies  gathered  around  tables  adorned 
wnthtbc  traditional  Easter  bread 
which  is  now  sold  in  markets  as  '  bread 
of  spring,"  the  initial  letters  of  these 
words  (XB)  being  the  same  as  those  of 
the  itadiiional  Easter  greeting,  "Christ  is 


72 


ORTHODOXY  IN  THE  CONTEMPORARY  WORLD 


risen*  Women  stood  in  line  for  hours 
before  the  Easter  services  waiting  for  a 
priest  to  bless  their  kiilkhi  and  eggs. 

The  Elokhovsky  Cathedral  was  liter¬ 
ally  surrounded  by  crowds  of  people.  In 
addition  to  believers  there  w'crc  young 
people  who  had  come  out  of  curiosi  ty  ro 
view  the  religious  rituals  of  cheir  fathers, 
and  also  a  small  group  of  militant  atheists 
who  came  to  harass;  and  finally,  a  num¬ 
ber  of  long-haired,  drunken  hooligans, 
playing  and  dancing  to  frantic  rhythms* 

At  midnight,  when  the  bells  rang  and 
the  procession  came  out,  the  crowd 


strained  forw  ard  to  get  a  better  look,  and 
at  the  same  time  there  were  hostile  cries 
of  "Back  CO  the  Middle  Ages  I"  and  ‘'God 
is  dead!'*  to  a  background  of  jazz  played 
by  guitars.  The  noise  reached  into  the 
Cathedral,  but  the  cries  of  * 'Christ  is 
risen"  were  repeated  with  such  fervor 
that  they  could  be  heard  outside. 

At  the  Holy  Trinity  Monastery  of  St. 
Sergius  in  Zagorsk,  according  to  the  same 
newspaper,  twenty- five  young  hooligans 
forced  their  way  into  the  church  and 
tried  CO  disrupt  the  Easter  services  by 
whistling  and  shouting. 


NEW  SOVIET  DECREE  ON  RELIGION 


A  new  decree  of  the  Supreme  Soviet 
of  the  Russian  Republic  of  the  USSR, 
published  in  the  Journal  of  that  body  for 
Mar.  24,  1966,  states  what  is  to  be  con¬ 
sidered  an  infringement  of  Art.  142  of  the 
Criminal  Code,  concerning  "Separation 
of  Church  and  State,  and  of  School  and 
Church."  The  bare  language  of  this  de¬ 
cree  is  evident  proof  of  how  deeply  the 
venom  of  atheism  lies  within  Soviet  exis¬ 
tence,  (Text  cited  in  Possets,  Apr.  29  ) 

Among  those  activities  considered  as 
infringements  of  this  law  arc: 

"Compulsory  collections  for  the  use 
of  religious  organizations  and  servants  of 
a  cult;  preparation...  or  mass  distribution 
of  petitions,  letters,  leaflets,  and  other 
documents  which  appeal  for  noa-fulfilJ- 
tnent  of  the  legislation  on  religious  cults; 
performance  of  deceitful  activities  wdeh 
the  aim  of  inciting  religious  superstitions 


in  the  masses  of  the  population;  organi¬ 
zation  and  conduct  of  religious  meetings, 
processions,  and  other  ceremonies  of  a 
cult  which  disturb  the  public  order;  or¬ 
ganization  and  systematic  conduct  of 
religious  instruction  of  minors  in  viola¬ 
tion  of  established  Jaws*.." 

According  to  this  decree,  the  "legal" 
right  of  the  Soviet  Government  to  inter¬ 
fere  with  religious  activities  is  virtually 
unlimited*  Further,  as  reported  in  the 
Paris  newspaper  La  Fenjee  Russe  (Apr*  9), 
CO  the  original  penalty  for  infringement 
of  this  law  (six  months  at  "correctional 
labor")  is  now  added  a  new  paragraph 
stating  the  penalty  for  a  repeated  offense; 
up  to  three  years  of  "deprivation  of 
freedom."  Thus  do  the  persecutors  at¬ 
tempt  to  hasten  their  goal:  the  liquida¬ 
tion  of  religion. 


NEW  BOOKS 

THE  WAY  OF  A  P[LGRIM  and  THE  PILGRIM 
CONTINUES  HIS  WAY,  trans.  by  R,  M. 
French.  The  Scabury  Press »  New  York, 
1965  (paperback  ed;). 

Should  you  ever  make  a  visit  to  any 
of  our  true  Orthodox  monasteries  and 
display  some  interest  in  the  spiritual  life 
of  the  inhabitants,  you  arc  liable  to  be 
approached  by  some  spiritual  man  or  a 
father  confessor  of  this  community,  who 
will  hand  you  a  little  book  before  start- 
ing  to  calk  about  anything  else.  You 
should  accept  this  cordial  gesture*  And 
the  next  thing  you  know  you  will  be 
roaming  the  peaceful  monastery  grounds 
engrossed  in  the  simple  narrative  of  this 
precious  little  volume,  An  entirely  new 
world  will  gradually  unfold  before  your 
spiritual  self,  a  land  you  ba've  never  really 
travelled  on  before*  You  will  be  making 
a  pilgrimage  into  the  world  of  Orthodox 
spirituality,  to  the  sanctuary  of  your 
heart,  where  is  the  workshop  of  th  art 

arts  —  the  Jesus  Prayer,  which  is  man's 
personal  contact  with  God.  You  will 
skim  with  the  Pilgrim  through  the  great 
holy  places  of  old  Holy  Russia,  covering 
vast  distances  from  Pochaev  Monastery 
to  St,  Innocent’s  Irkutsk,  from  the  holy 
caves  of  Kiev  to  the  deserts  of  the  "Nor¬ 
thern  Thcbaid"'  «  Valaam,  Konevits,  So¬ 
lovetsky  Monastery.  And  you  will  be 
won  by  this  living  ^odvi^hnik  talking 
with  you  and  witnessing  this  same  old 
world  of  ours  as  a  transfigured  threshold 
of  heaven,  and  you  will  become  a  witness 
to  it  yourself.  If  you  will  only  utter  a 
single  sigh  of  repentance  and  humility. 


you  might  continue  this  Jifc-Iong  pilgri¬ 
mage  heavenwards  even  afrer  you  finish 
the  book  and  leave  the  monastery*  But 
should  you  dare  to  tred  this  holy  path 
for  the  sake  of  excitement,  not  having 
humbled  and  cleansed  yourself,  with  car¬ 
nal  passions  lurking  within  you,  you 
will  fall  into  the  pit  of  prehst^  from 
which  return  is  difficult. 

The  very  reason  the  monastery  spiri¬ 
tual  advisor  begins  with  this  book  is  to 
rest  your  spiritual  readiness,  so  he  Can 
give  you,  if  you  let  him,  the  proper 
spiritual  food  in  the  right  proportion* 
The  Orthodox  spiritual  life  has  its  own 
laws  and  norms,  and  only  in  accordance 
with  them  can  one  develop  spiritually. 

This  book  has  become  a  classic  even 
in  its  English  translation  (it  has  had  at 
least  four  printings  since  1954  and  now 
for  the  first  time  appears  in  a  paperback 
edirion);  jt  has  even  been  a  major  issue 
in  one  of  J.  D.  Salinger's  books,  Franny 
and  Zcffey,  Hence  it  is  often  superficially 
recommended  as  "spiritual  reading'*  by 
almost  anyone,  without  the  slightest 
notion  of  the  dangers  it  may  bring  if  put 
into  practice  without  adequate  know¬ 
ledge  of  the  teachings  of  the  Holy  Fa¬ 
thers.  Needless  to  say,  it  is  only  with 
such  knowledge  and  in  a  proper  Ortho¬ 
dox  context  that  it  can  bring  any  true 
spiritual  benefit* 

G.  F. 

The  hook  reviewed  here  may  he  purchased 
from  ORTHODOX  CHRISTIAN  BOOKS  &  ICONS 
for  $1  * 


74 


A  PILGRIMAGE  TO 
THE  ORTHODOX 


HOLY  PLACES  OF  AMERICA 

THE  FIRST  PILGRIMAGE 

N 

k^EAR  THE  center  of  the  State  of  New  York  lies  an  extensive  discricc 
of  country,  whose  surface  is  a  succession  of  hills  and  dales,  or  to  speak 
with  greater  deference  to  geographical  definitions,  of  mountains  and 
valleys...  The  mountains  arc  generally  arable  to  the  cops,  although  in¬ 
stances  are  not  wanting  where  the  sides  are  jutted  with  rocks,  that  aid 
greatly  in  giving  to  the  country  that  romantic  and  picturesque  character 
which  it  so  eminenily  possesses.  The  vales  arc  narrow,  rich,  and  culti¬ 
vated,  with  a  stream  uniformly  winding  through  each. 

"A  narrow  belt  of  country,  extending  for  a  short  distance  on 
either  side  of  the  Hudson,  wiih  a  similar  occupation  of  fifty  miles  on  the 
banks  of  the  Mohawk...  and  a  few  isolated  scttlemencs  on  chosen  land 
along  the  margins  of  streams,  compose  the  country.*/' 

This  is  the  land  of  the  Mohawk  River  Valley,  as  described  by  the 
great  American  writer,  a  native  to  these  parts,  James  Fenim&re  Ceoper^  in 
the  opening  passages  of  his  adventurous  novck  The  Picneers. 

In  the  center  of  this  region,  on  the  southern  bank  of  the  river,  is 
a  little  historic  town,  named  after  this  "waterway  to  the,  West."  Some 
fifteen  miles  south  of  town  (Exit  30  on  the  New  York  . Thruway  and  then 
south  on  Route  2&),  as  the  country  gradually  develops  into  a  rich  green 
pasture] and  handsomely  landscaped  with  groves  and  dotted  wdeh  white 
cojonial-cypc  farmhouses  and  sleepy  villages,  a  unique  golden-domed 
Byzantine  monastery  towers  to  adorn  a  windy  piateau  a  mile  from  Jor- 
danvillc.  Almost  on  the  site  of  a  horrible  Indian  massacre  of  white  set¬ 
tlers  is  the  humble  locality  w^here  cw'o  young  God  seekers,  leaving  the 
ways  of  this  world,  settled  with  an  ardent  desire  to  work  solely  for 
God  and  to  establish  a  monastery  In  the  full  Orthodox  tradition  in  the 
fertile  ground  of  the  New  World  —  in  the  name  and  to  the  glory  of  the 
Holy  Trinity. „ 


HOLY 

TRINITY 

MONASTERY 


NEAR  JORDANVILLE,  NEW  YORK 


Moaas  ter  its  «  for  the  Church,  for  reJigion  are  the  same 
as  univmities,  colleges,  clinics  --  for  science  In  our  days 
the  foundation  of  a  decent  monastery  is  more  useful  chan 
the  formation  of,  perhaps,  two  universities  and  a  hundred  public  schools. 

K.  N*  Leontiev* 

HE  FIRST  IDEAS  of  an  Orthodox  monastery  in  America  stem 
back  to  Fr.  Herman's  wished-for  '*New  Valaam,"  but  the  first 
realization  of  a  monastery  was  Tikhen^s  in  Pennsylvania. 
There,  plowing  earth  and  sweating  in  physical  labor.  Rev.  Father  Pantc* 
leimoa  (Paul  Niznik),  foundcf  of  the  Holy  Trinity  Monastery,  spent  his 
first  monastic  years.  He  was  a  Russian  country  lad  who  emigrated  to 
America,  only  to  realize  his  inner  quest  -  to  lead  a  life  of  p<fdt/ig.  But  the 
noisy  life  of  a  newly- formed  monastic  community  had  too  many  worldly 
attachments  and  he  prayed  and  waited  for  God  to  show  him  the  way* 
Besides,  when  Mctr.  Sergy's  declaration  enslaved  the  Russian  Church  to 
the  atheisticSovictgovernment,  a  majority  of  Russian  churches  in  Ame¬ 
rica  failed  to  remain  with  the  rest  of  the  Russian  Church  Abroad  in  its 
stand  against  the  Soviet  Church*  ■  and  his  monastery  was  no  exception. 

One  day  a  young  man  came  on  a  pilgrimage  to  the  monastery  and 
soon  opened  his  heart's  desire  to  leave  the  wrorld  and  enter  this  monas¬ 
tery.  Having  become  convinced  in  the  sincerity  of  young  Ivan  (Kolos), 
Fr.  Panteleimon  told  him  of  the  shortcomings  of  this  place  and  revealed 
his  wish  for  a  true  monastic  life  of  seclusion...  And  thus,  on  the  hundred 
dollars  Ivan  had,  a  small  convenient*'  piece  of  land  was  bought  and  the 

76 


Vaults  and  domfi  tjf  the  main  church,  the  woffc  of  luonasterv  icon  pa i met 
Fr.  Cyprian  and  his  student  Fr.  Alypy;  the  chandelier  vi^as  made  by  Fr.  Pimen 


two  settled  in  the  swampy  brush  near  Jordanville*  Thar  was  in  1930.  At 
once  they  followed  the  daily  cycle  of  church  services,  rising  before  dawn, 
and  toiling  in  the  field,  looking  after  some  livestock  and  building 
themselves  their  shelter. 

Hardly  had  they  settled  and  consecrated  a  small  wooden  church, 
’when  a  fire  destroyed  literally  everything  they  had  managed  to  acquire 
for  the  minimum  of  a  monk’s  life.  In  awe  the  two  watched  as  their 
work  and  dream  turned  to  ashes.  Now  they  had  nothing  to  themselves 
but  the  burnt  earth  upon  which  they  stood.  Was  it,  they  thought,  that 
God  did  not  want  them  to  be  there,  or,  perhaps,  was  it  a  test  of  their 
faith  and  determination?  In  holy  anger  Fr,  Panteleimon  turned  to  his 
shattered  friend  and  said; 

"Now,  do  you  still  want  to  be  a  monk?..." 

The  next  day  Ivan  became  Father  Joseph !  And  this  was  the  be¬ 
ginning  of  the  largest  and  the  most  influential  monastery  in  this  conti¬ 
nent,  a  Citadel  of  Orthodoxy,  a  bastion  of  monasticism,  a  guardian  of 
basic  Christianity,  The  first  American  Lavra. 


77 


ND  SO  THEY  LEFT  these  deserted  grounds  io  quest  of  employ¬ 
ment,  only  CO  return  and  rebuild,  Fr,  PaoTelcimon  worked  hard 
ac  the  Sikorsky  plant  and  returned  with  new  strength.  They 
had  great  ideas;  inspired  by  the  popular  Triniry  Lfafiets  of  St,  Sergius 
Lavra,  by  the  writings  of  Poselyanin  and  NiJus,  and  especially  by  the 
activity  of  young  Archim.  Vicaly,  who  restored  the  historic  printing 
shop  at  the  Lavra  of  Sc.  Job  of  Pochaev,  -  they  saw  clearly  how  Ortho¬ 
dox  America  svas  badly  in  need  of  a  misshn  &f  fhe  printid  ward.  But  even 
more,  America  needed  to  know  the  fragrance  of  authentic  traditional 
monasticism,  which  the  two  so  ardently  desired. 

Since  there  wxrc  no  experienced  spiritual  directors  to  turn  to,  no 
Stott  si  ^  they  resolved  on  hard  labor  on  their  farm  as  a  sure  protection 
against  the  varied  forms  of  puinst^  from  whose  pits,  they  knew,  there  is 
no  return.  They  took  to  it  with  great  fervor,  enduring  severe  winter 
cold,  shortage  of  food,  fuel  and  clothing,  yet  not  missing  a  single  church 
service.  Those  who  joined  them  found  this  regimen  almost  impossible 
to  endure. 

Their  zealous  perseverance  and  insight  attracted  to  them,  as  it 
V5^CTC,  the  spirit  of  their  beloved  inspirer: 

ITALY,  THE  FAi^lED  monk- printer  of  Pochaev,  was  made 
bishop  and  sent  to  America,  where  he,  being  their  ruling  bishop, 
joined  the  vigorous  brothers  and  was  soon  to  bless  a  linotype, 
uttering  these  prophetic  words; 

Balav'id  bratbtrs  in  Christ!  Ttn  years  yau  have  tailed  with  ea^trnexi  at 
farm  uofk,  bettering  and  enlarging  it^  not  far  earthly  enrichment^  bat  in  arJer  ta 
have  a  s^und  material  faundatian  &f  year  awn  in  arder  fa  serve  the  ward  af  Gad.., 
I  have  witnessed  your  great  labor ^  I  have  wondered  at  your  persistency  and  endur* 
ance^  and  with  jay  I  have  listened  ta  your  dreams.,..  Dark  times  have  came  to 
earth  and^  as  it  was  foretold ^  the  famine  of  hearing  God* s  word  has  begun.  Now 
is  the  lime  for  your  holy  monastic  obedience  to  the  word  of  Gad^  when  not  only  the 
5000  mentioned  in  the  Gospel^  but  millions  of  spiritually  starving  people  are  per^ 
isbing  '"Give  them  to  eat^"^  says  our  Lord, 

And  indeed  the  monastery  printshop  has  grown,  to  become  today 
the  largest  publisher  of  religious  literature  in  Russian  and  Slavonic, 

After  the  war  the  St,  Job  Brotherhood  arrived  from  Czechoslovakia 
to  join  their  Abbot- bishop  Vitaly  They  at  once  began  a  Urge  church, 
which  was  consecrated  in  by  the  late  Metr,  Anastassy,  who  now 

rests  in  Its  north  wing  under  the  altar.  The  church  was  based  on  I2th 
century  tent  style  by  Architect  Verkhovskoy,  and  the  interior  is  a  mas¬ 
terpiece  of  iconography,  probably  the  finest  on  this  continent. 


?; 

E. 


CHURCH  is  the  heart  of  the  monastery;  its  bell  ac  5:00  a,  m. 

summoning  monks  for  nocturn,  its  16th  century 
Rostov-stylc  frescoed  vaults  echo  Znamenny  and  Kiev  chants 
and  the  dazzling  monastic  beauty  of  stikhyras  sung  padobny  as  the 
monks  descend  to  the  basement  church  of  St,  Job,  There,  before  his  Icon 
with  relies,  a  gift  from  Pochaev,  a  vjgiMight  unceasingly  burns.  Among 
other  important  relics  the  monastery  has  a  large  reliquary  of  eighty- 
eight  saints  of  the  Kiev-Caves  Monastery.  At  7:30,  after  supper,  the 
whole  hundred -soul  community  attends  compline  to  end  the  day*  and  as 
they  leave  the  church  they  bow  down  before  icons  and  relies  of  saints 
who  arc  to  intercede  for  them  before  the  Highest,  to  Whom  together 
with  clouds  of  insensc  rises  rhtir  soul-stjrring  Pochaev  chant. 

As  night  descends  and  wraps  the  world  in  the  oblivion  of  sleep, 
the  monk  in  his  cell,  like  a  candle  of  offering  before  the  altar,  keeps 
watch  over  his  heart.  Monasticism,  in  the  words  of  Bp.  Thcophan  the 
Recluse,  is  a  sacrifice  offered  to  God  from  the  world  and  for  the  world. 


kon-icreen  of  the  nsaifl  church,  hand-carved  by  the  monks. 


n 

Sl,7  t. 

p 

P 

s 

fsi 

ill 

GT! 

HE  SEMINARY  was  Archbp.  Vitaly's  long-time  wish  to  rcaliiic 
his  idea  of  \vhat  today's  pastors  ought  to  be.  The  promising 
beginnings  at  Jordanvillc  offered  him  an  inviting  opportunity. 

A  life  long  friend  of  the  monastery^  Mrs.  Helen  Alexander,  who 
willed  it  her  precious  library  of  the  Holy  Fathers,  made  her  husband  pro¬ 
mise  at  her  death  bed  to  devote  the  rest  of  his  life  to  helping  the  newly- 
formed  monastery.  As  a  result  of  this  promise  a  seminary  arose  as  an 
amazing  achievement  of  this  courageous  man.  Dr.  Nicholas  N.  Alexander, 
former  Liutenant  Commander  of  the  Imperial  Russian  Navy  and  professor 
of  aeronautics  at  the  Rhode  Island  University,  is  now  Dean  of  this  school 
of  higher  education,  which  is  fully  accredited  by  the  Board  of  Education 
of  the  State  of  N,  Y.  and  presently  enrolls  over  sixty  students  from  all 
over  the  \vorld.  It  carries  an  extensive  well-balanced  curriculum  of  the 
sciences  and  humanities  and  most  of  the  subjects  are  conducted  in  Russian. 
The  five-year  scholastic  program  also  provides  some  knowledge  in  a  trade 
or  special  training.  Its  rector,  the  most  Rev.  Archbishop  Averky,  recently 
consecrated  grounds  for  a  new  library  building,  modeled  after  the  Semi¬ 
nary  building  in  the  old  Pochaev  Lavra,  to  house  its  20,000  volumes  on 
theology  and  all  sciences  in  many  languages.  The  rural  landscape  and  the 
monastic  setting  provide  a  perfect  atmosphere  for  a  reflective  God  seeker. 


[\'ERY  CHRISTIAN  is  called  to  be  a  warrior  combating  the 
spirit  of  this  temporal  world  on  the  battlefield  of  his  own  self. 
Monks  have  made  it  their  life's  vocation  and  have  developed 
a  spiritual  strategy  from  which  Orthodox  Christians  can  draw  help  for 
themselves.  Monasteries  throughout  the  ages  have  served  society  by  pre¬ 
serving  this  wisdom  and  passing  it  on  to  new  generations,  and  despite 
the  drastic  revolutionary  changes  in  the  world  their  work  has  gone  on. 

Nowadays,  however,  when  Christians  who  cherish  true  Christ¬ 
ianity  arc  once  again  gradually  to  descend  into  the  catacombs,  a  w^arrior 
must  be  well-informed  and  quite  aware  w'hat  precisely  constitutes  true 


Christianity,  so  as  not  to  be  led  astray,  for  he  is  to  defend  its  purity. 

A  well  trained  ''army''  of  such  warriors,  either  monks  or  priests 
in  the  world,  is  what  Archbp  Vitaly  had  in  his  heart  and  mind  .  From 
the  time  when  he  published  hts  magazine  The  Russian  AUttk,  in  Pochaev, 
he  called  young  men  to  His  spiritual  sons,  merely  by  the  witness 

of  their  integral  life,  do  likewise,  as  the  visiting  pilgrim  can  plainly  see. 
In  the  free  world  they  can  carry  on  their  work  -  raising  their  Cross  high 
before  them,  as  they  proceed  through  this  earthly  life  striving  for  heavenly 
crowns.  (On  Pochaev  and  Arch  bp.  VTtaly  see  The  Orthad&x  Word  no,  3, 1965) 

Next  issue:  A  PHgrlmage  U  St.  Tikh&ni  Manastety  In  Pennsylvania, 


a 


A  YEAR  the  monastery  celebrates  its  fcasr  days;  Pente¬ 
cost  and  St.  Job  of  Pochaev  day,  which  is  celebrated  on  Labor- 
day  weekend.  Then  the  venerated  Pochaev  Icon  (an  exact  replica 
of  the  original)  arrives  from  New  York,  being  met  half  a  mile  away  by 
a  procession  from  the  monastery  with  the  icon  of  Sc.  Job.  After  re¬ 
turning  CO  the  main  church  an  akathist  is  sung  to  Sc.  Job  by  the  whole 
congregation. 

There  is  a  40-room  guesthouse  near  the  monastery  to  accommodate 
pilgrims  the  year  round.  Pilgrims,  upon  arriving  at  the  monastery,  should 
get  a  blessing  to  stay  from  the  Abbot,  Archbishop  Averky*